General News of Friday, 2 November 2018
The Director-General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang has paid a working visit to the Wa and Lawra branches in the Upper West Region.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang since assuming office in March 2017 has paid surprise visits to several of the fifty (50) branch offices across the country to have firsthand information on the working conditions of staff and how staff render services to customers. He said the objective of his surprise visits is not to witch-hunt but to find out how his staff worked on a daily basis.
According to him, “SSNIT has a good product which is pension, however, the perception out there does not reflect what is being offered”. He, therefore, encouraged staff to help in creating a positive image for the Trust. “It is in our own interest as staff to ensure that our customers are happy and when they are, they will become advocates of the scheme. Reputation is everything and we should spare no effort in ensuring that we create and maintain delightful experiences for our customers” He advised.
In encouraging staff to work hard, the Director-General assured the workers that their efforts in improving the fortunes of the Trust will be rewarded. “I urge you to be innovative in our quest to make SSNIT a pension institution of choice where members contribute because they see the value in the scheme and not because they are obliged by law.” He likened SSNIT to a ship, saying “as captain of the ship, I have no option but to throw those who drill holes in the ship overboard to prevent it from sinking”, I am keen to build an organization where every member of staff is committed to the vision of delivering world-class service to our contributors and pensioners and I urge you to come on this journey with me “he said.
He informed staff his administration will continue to operate an open door policy and that he was opened to new ideas and innovative ideas aimed at building a model pension scheme in the country and the sub-region.
He touched on the recent deletion of names of pensioners (72 years and above) from the SSNIT Pensioners’ Payroll which has resulted in saving the Trust over twenty million Ghana Cedis so far as a measure to enhance the sustainability of the scheme. He also mentioned that his management is working to make the Trust’s operations paperless. “My administration is also reviewing our investments to ensure we only invest in instruments with high returns” he assured.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang as part of his tour visited the regional executives of the SSNIT Pensioners Association where he assured them of efforts to improve their monthly pensions. The executives, led by the chairman, Mr. Fidelis Duolaara, commended the Wa Branch for the services they render to pensioners in the region.
The managers and staff of the two branches said the visit had boosted their morale since he is the second Director-General to have visited the offices in the region in over a decade.
At August 2018, the region had 807 private establishments registered with SSNIT and paying social security contributions for 4,504 workers.
The Trust has embarked on an aggressive exercise to uncover and ensure every eligible worker in the region is covered under the basic social security scheme.
The visit culminated with the Info Shop campaign at the UDS Wa campus. The SSNIT Info Shop, a joint programme being organised by the SSNIT and University Students Association of Ghana (USAG), is targeted at educating students on their rights to social security and preparing them to take interest in retirement planning even before they start working. It also affords them the opportunity to register into the scheme and for workers on the campuses to perform various transactions with the SSNIT.
Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang was accompanied on his tour by the Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms. Afua Sarkodie and the Tamale Area Manager, Mr. Jos Aris Bugre.