General News of Friday, 15 September 2017
The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) is raising concerns over some diaries being procured by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT). According to the Federation, such expenses can only be described as “profligate expenditure” and far from SSNIT’s mandate.
“Even though the new management has instituted a forensic audit into SSNIT operations, we observe with disquiet, evidence of profligate expenditure and opulence being displayed again. For instance, the advertisement by SSNIT published in the Ghanaian Times of 16th June 2017 inviting tenders for supply of luxury executive diaries, luxury desk diaries, deluxe/luxury slim pocket diaries etc for the year 2018, is indeed worrying,” the Federation said in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Abraham Koomson.
It also described the development as worrying and said: “these happenings and the philanthropic gesture of SSNIT Management towards non-members of the scheme blatantly defeats the purpose for which the SSNIT was established.”
This comes on the back of an investigation being carried into the activities of SSNIT following a revelation of a procurement and installation of $72 million software and hardware components for a digitization project undertaken by the Trust.
GFL in the statement further wants government to make public a report carried into the operations of SSNIT in 2001, which according to GFL “revealed gross mismanagement of SSNIT.”
“While awaiting the result of another inquiry to unearth yet another heinous conspiracy to fleece SSNIT, we demand of government to recognize the ownership of the Fund and act to halt the menace in the interest of national security and economic growth,” the statement added.
SSNIT is being investigated by EOCO for blowing $72 million on procuring and installing a software and other hardware systems known as the Operational Business Suite in a bid to digitize the Trust.
The cost, which was originally $34 million, later ballooned to $66 million and then to $72 million due to maintenance and additional infrastructure. The Board Chairman of SSNIT, Kwame Addo Kufuor, in an earlier interview with Citi News, said about 15 people had appeared before EOCO as witnesses in the matter.