The Ministry of Finance has directed that the names of 26,589 public sector workers be removed from government’s payroll, commencing in April.
A news release from the Public Relations Unit of the ministry said the sector minister, Ken Ofori-Atta gave the directive after several warnings for those public workers to register on the new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric system had fallen on deaf ears.
According to the release, the minister had 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.”
“Mr. Ofori-Atta, in his presentation of the 2017 budget, announced government’s commitment to clean the payroll.
“To that effect, the Minister requested that the Controller and Accountant General on the 10th of February 2017, inform all public servants on the Government of Ghana mechanized payroll system who had not registered on the new SSNIT biometric system to do so by the end of February 2017,” the release said.
It added: “The notice further stated that end of March salaries for un-enrolled workers were to be suspended indefinitely until the SSNIT re-enrollment is completed by the said workers. The February 28th, 2017 deadline was further extended to March 31st 2017 by the Minister of Finance.
“This directive will come into effect on the April 2017 payroll. Consequently, those not registered with SSNIT, as directed shall be treated as “Ghost” going forward and shall as such be removed from the payroll for April 2017,” the release said further.
According to the ministry, “SSNIT is adequately prepared to validate any affected pensioner across the country, who make themselves available to be counted and validated going forward. Several mobile enrolment kits are on standby to cater for affected pensioners who may not be able to travel to their nearest SSNIT district offices to complete the validation process.”
“These two directives, resulting in the identification of close to 50,000 “Ghost” names on the payroll and Pensions Registry, are expected to save the country some GH¢35 million in payroll cost on a monthly basis or a total of over GH¢250 million in 2017 alone,” it added.
“ The Minister calls on all citizens to help protect the public purse as government commits to bringing ‘Ghana beyond Aid,” adding “Any real person whose name has been suspended can visit any of the SSNIT branches nationwide to be biometrically re-enrolled. SSNIT has set up enrolment desks within all their offices.”