General News of Wednesday, 8 March 2017
The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is reportedly investigating the alleged financial rot at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
The EOCO is said to have written to the acting Director-General of the Trust to furnish it with information on some private companies believed to be prominent during the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
A source at EOCO mentioned some of the companies as Pro-Vision Consulting Limited and Perfect Business Systems – both IT companies that provided wide-ranging consultancy and other services even to state-owned institutions, including SSNIT.
Perfect Business Solution is the company handling the SSNIT biometric project dubbed ‘Operation Business Suite,’ popularly called (OBS) which has run into troubles after several millions of cedis had been paid to the vendor.
The OBS has become an albatross on the Trust with some people using it to milk the distressed pension fund managers.
All these dodgy deals were under the supervision of the immediate past SSNIT Director-General, Ernest Thopmson.
The EOCO was said to be acting pursuant to Section 19 of the Economic and Organized Crime Office Act 2010 (Act 804).
The letter to SSNIT, signed by Acting Executive Director ACP K.K. Amoah(rtd), requested for information on all contract documents between SSNIT and Pro-Vision Consulting Limited, including all charges requests and service level agreements for the provision of all Oracle-based software.
The Office also asked for all contract documents between SSNIT and Perfect Systems, including all charges requests and service level agreements for the provision of Operation Business Suit (OBS) software.
The EOCO further requested for payments made by SSNIT to Pro-Vision Consulting and Perfect Business Systems on legacy and currently used systems.
SSNIT immediate past Director-General, Ernest Thompson, was relieved of his appointment in January by President Akufo-Addo.
The sacking of Mr. Thompson was reportedly received with excitement by the staff who were of the view that SSNIT was allegedly run down under him, with most of its priced assets including banks like Merchant Bank, being offloaded.
The outgoing SSNIT board under Joshua Alabi also gave approval for the trust to put a number of its expensive management residential facilities in Accra on sale at the eleventh hour when the NDC was on its way out of government.
The buildings include six residential properties and two guest houses located in plush areas like North Ridge, Cantonments and Airport Residential Area – all in Accra – but there are concerns that the facilities will be sold at very cheap rates as most state properties are being sold allegedly to cronies.
The decision raised public concerns because some observers believed that SSNIT needed to protect the properties and not dispose of them, while others claimed that the powerful management and the board might turn around to buy the affected properties for peanuts.