Business News of Tuesday, 19 December 2017
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has decided to scale back drastically its sponsorship programmes for 2018 as part of moves to focus on its core mandate of effectively managing pension funds for the optimum benefit of contributors.
According to the SSNIT, it had, in the past, spent millions of dollars in sponsorship packages that did not form part of its core mandate.
“If SSNIT has any largesse to spread around, it must go to the contributors and pensioners,” the Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said: “We are scaling back on extraneous sponsorship programmes which do not fall within the core mandate of the trust. We want to redirect our energies into engaging in activities that fall within our mandate.”
He said it was important for SSNIT to come up with innovative ways of improving its operations, as well as encourage more people to sign onto the schemes of the trust.
He said the welfare of pensioners was key to the operations of SSNIT, for which reason the new management would not relent in its efforts to add more value to its operations.
The SSNIT had, in the past, spent millions of cedis on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, the most recent ones being the $25-million Bukom Boxing Arena project, the building of 40 police stations across the country, as well as several sponsorship deals worth several millions of dollars.
There is currently an ongoing multi-million cedi library project being built by the SSNIT.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the functions of SSNIT had been clearly stated in the law establishing the trust and for that reason it was key for the new management to act within the law.
Stating the new direction of SSNIT, he said “the trust has received a lot of tongue lashing from the public due to glitches in its operations in the past”.
The management of the trust, he said, had the full backing of the board to roll out programmes aimed at cushioning the interest of contributors and pensioners.
Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said his vision was to lead SSNIT to become a “model for the administration of social protection schemes in Africa and beyond”.
“Going beyond Africa is key because we are more than capable of competing on a global scale,” he added.
He said there was no need for benefit claimants to make multiple trips to SSNIT offices before they received their first pension cheque.
“We can have a system where members are notified when they are about to retire and create a system of updating particulars online and also have multiple avenues of paying benefits to claimants,” he said
He said one of his visions was to “make people to look at SSNIT as a very well-run pension fund which puts the welfare of its primary stakeholders, pensioners and contributors, at the core of its activities”.
SSNIT donates to pensioners
In a related development, SSNIT has contributed GH¢300,000 to support the medical bills of members of the SSNIT National Pensioners Association.
The contribution was meant to support a medical scheme being run by the association for its members.
The donation followed an appeal made by the association during the launch of its 25th anniversary in July 2017.
The General Secretary of the association, Mr Edward Ameyibor, thanked SSNIT for its kind gesture.
He enumerated various forms of support SSNIT had given the association over the years, notable among them being a recreational centre, office accommodation at many SSNIT branches across the country, property management services, a bus and GH¢10,000 seed money for the association to roll out the Pensioners Medical Scheme.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SSNIT, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor ,who presented the cheque to the association, said SSNIT was carving for itself a new image and was determined to render good services to Ghanaians.