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13.03.2012 Business & Finance

AFAG calls for parliamentary enquiry into sale of SSNIT shares

By GNA
AFAG calls for parliamentary enquiry into sale of SSNIT shares
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Accra, March 13, GNA - Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a political pressure group on Tuesday called for a parliamentary enquiry into the sale of Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)'s 61.14 per cent shares.

The shares cover The Trust Bank (TTB) and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).

The group also called for the dissolution of the SSNIT board of trustees, the resignation of the SSNIT Managing Director, and the immediate removal of the four organised labor representatives namely: Mr Kofi Asamoah, Mr Robertson Allotey, Mr Dian Okine, and Mr Amo Dako from the SSNIT board of Trustees.

Dr Nana Ayew Afriye, Spokesperson for AFAG made the call at a press conference in Accra.

He alleged that the dissolution was necessary because the members have betrayed Ghanaian workers who retire on very low benefits after contributing to SSNIT.

He explained that there are about 850, 000 contributors and 92,000 pensioners, yet people who retire cannot boast of comfortable pensions as a result of bad decisions on the part of the board of trustees, which inevitably lead to poor investments, and eventually worthless pension benefits.

Dr Afriye noted that, the sale of SSNIT shares in TTB had resulted in the loss of GH¢179 million to workers investment and questioned why the future of workers should be placed at such a risk, in order to satisfy “the selfish interest of some few persons”.

He noted that there was no need for the sale of SSNIT shares in TTB since TTB was performing well in the market.

Dr Afriye explained that though the Bank of Ghana required a minimum of GH¢60 million as capitalisation for local banks in Ghana, TTB's capitalisation is GH¢125 million, hence capable of operating two more local banks.

He said TTB's end on year profit in 2010 was 50 per cent over in 2009 and the net profit in 2010 was GH¢2 million.

The TTB board set a target of GH¢19 million profit in 2011 and made a profit GH¢23 million.

Dr Afriye claimed that the effect of the sale from January 2012 was that there was management who were wooed by the SSNIT board of trustees with lucrative End of Service Benefits in order to co-operate over the TTB sale to ETI, leading to the dissolution of the financial entity.

He said more than 200 workers will soon be sacked.

“AFAG is calling on all workers to join us at forum starting on Tuesday, March 20, in Koforidua to collect signatures from workers and the … public in support of AFAG's quest at bringing sufficient pressure to bear on the legislature, to initiate a parliamentary enquiry into the sale of SSNIT shares in TTB; reverse the sale, and indentify all those corrupt men behind the sale for prosecution without fear or favour,” he said.

Dr Afriye said AFAG foresees a miserable pension benefit in future for retirees because the current SSNIT board of trustees aims aggressively to sell off all their investments.

He said currently workers SSNIT's shares in First Atlantic Bank has been sold, Trust Hospital has been de-coupled and yet to be sold, investment in Merchant Bank and the SSNIT Guest House is on the market to be sold.

He urged workers to rise against such oppressors of self seeking persons at the expense of their livelihood and challenged the Trades Union Congress to invite AFAG for a debate over the sale of SSNIT shares in TTB, “failure to do so in 72 hours, we shall call for the resignation of the TUC Secretary General”.

GNA

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