General News of Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Source: The Finder
While most pensioners are retiring with peanuts after their life’s service to the country, the Social Security and Insurance Trust (SSNIT) deemed it fit to spend a whopping Ghc1 million to help the Ministry of Youth and Sports airlift supporters on a fanfare trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
The amount donated by SSNIT constitutes over 22% of the total amount donated by both state and private entities to airlift supporters to Brazil.
This was contained in the report of the commission of inquiry set up to investigate matters relating to the participation of the Black Stars team in the Brazil 2014 World Cup tournament.
According to the report, 52 companies, made up of both private and state-owned companies, donated an amount of Ghc4,542,735 to the World Cup supporters’ project of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which was aimed at airlifting Ghanaians to Brazil.
Pension funds are widely believed to be easy funds for government in times of need.
The exact amount of money government owes SSNIT has been shrouded in secrecy, but sources say government’s indebtedness to SSNIT amounts to over Ghc600 million.
In April this year, the Ministry of Finance indicated the Government of Ghana had issued a five-year risk-free bond to cover its indebtedness to SSNIT.
Other startling observations in the sponsors’ list in the report indicate that some state institutions that are struggling to survive due to financing constraints also made various contributions to the supporters’ project.
The Electricity Company of Ghana, which has been described by many energy experts as the weakest link in the energy mix due to its high distribution losses, also made a donation of Ghc50,000 to the supporters’ project.
The power generator, the Volta River Authority, made a total donation of Ghc85,000 to the supporters in two separate donations: one on 3June 3, 2014 and the second on July 7, 2014.
The Ghana AIDS Commission, which has been rationing anti-retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS patients in the country due to financial constraints, found it a prudent enterprise to donate to airlift supporters to Brazil.
The project expenses of the committee, according to the report, indicated that the committee spent a total of Ghc600,026 on allowances and per diem.
Out of this amount, Ghc159,128 was spent on the service fees of caterers; Ghc82,385 on the protocol/band/musicians/production team.
Another Ghc16,500 was spent on sitting allowances for sub-committee members while an amount of Ghc15,000 was paid to one Akosua Dentaa as allowances from January 2014 to May 2014.