Members of the Forum for Public Sector Registered Pension Scheme (FPSRPS) registered their displeasure against the use of GHC1,000,000 pension funds to airlift supporters of Ghana Black Stars to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, taking a swipe at management and board of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for the decision.
“With the current precarious living conditions of the majority of Ghanaian pensioners, who struggle on daily basis to feed and clothe themselves with the minimum monthly pension of GHÈ¼230, it is completely wrong and misplaced to say the least, to use pension funds to airlift football fans to such an event,” the FPSRPS noted in a statement.
The statement, signed by Ernest Badu-Boateng, Media Liaison Officer of the Ashanti Chapter of the Forum, reminded the board and management of SSNIT that the funds were for Ghanaian working people whose future lives should not be gambled with.
The latest jab, in what is becoming an increasingly sharp back-and-forth show on Justice Dzamefeh’s World Cup Commission’s report, is questioning the credibility of the directors’ discernment on matters of discretion.
The FPSRPS members said they were appalled by the explanation given by the SSNIT Director of Public Affairs, Eva Amegashie, to the effect that the support was done out of magnanimity. The group insisted that SSNIT has no right to use pension funds in a way that offends the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act766).
They called on the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to rise up and safeguard contributions of Ghanaian workers, and commence investigation in this case of impropriety.
“We will await the outcome of the NPRA’s investigation into this matter and thereafter decide on the next line of action as far as this matter is concerned [will be taken] to safeguard our pension funds in the custody of SSNIT,” the statement threatened.
The group also expressed its dissatisfaction with the frequent changes of the Chief Executive Officers of the scheme, and urged President Mahama not to resort to such move, as they tend to have negative impact on the administration of the pension funds.
It is reported that after bad investments of workers’ contributions over the years, the state-owned company is allegedly struggling with cash and that has compelled it to resort to deducting staff salaries to meet some of its social responsibility commitments.
Reports say a large chunk of staff are poorly paid and many have been on the same grade for about six years with management not knowing what to do.
Unconfirmed report says the Director General, Ernest Thopmson, may be affected in the ongoing reshuffle of CEOs of state-owned organizations.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi
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