The Minister of Finance has ordered the removal of 26,589 public sector workers from the payroll commencing April 2017 for not registering on the new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric system.
Ken Ofori-Atta’s action follows several directives to do so after his presentation of the Akufo-Addo-led administration’s first budget in which government announced its commitment to clean the payroll.
Earlier, the Minister requested that the Controller and Accountant General on February 10, informs all public servants of government’s mechanised payroll system and the need for them to register on the new SSNIT biometric system by the end of February 2017.
The notice further stated that commencing March 31, 2017, salaries for un-enrolled workers, were to be suspended indefinitely or until the SSNIT re-enrollment was completed by the said workers.
The February 28, 2017, deadline was further extended to March 31, 2017, by the Minister of Finance.
The Ministry indicates that there will be no more extension of the timeline which means the directive takes effect at the end of April 2017 payroll.
Consequently, those not registered with SSNIT, as directed shall be treated as ‘ghosts’ going forward and shall as such be removed from the payroll from April 2017.
In a related statement, the Minister has also directed the Controller and Accountant General to suspend the payment of pensions to some 23,029 people because they could not be accounted for in a nationwide head count which ended on October 22, 2016.
SSNIT says it is adequately prepared to validate any affected pensioners, across the country, who make themselves available to be counted and validated.
These two directives, according to the Ministry have resulted in the identification of close to 50,000 ‘ghost’ names on the payroll and Pensions Registry which are expected to save the country some GH35 million in payroll cost on a monthly basis or a total of over GH250 million in 2017 alone.