Mr. Kwasi Boatin, Financial Controller of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has announced that the Trust had embarked on an aggressive campaign to recover billions of cedis owed by beneficiaries under the SSNIT Students' loans scheme.
He disclosed that over 500 billion cedis in outstanding debts accrued under the SSNIT Students' loans was putting an enormous pressure on the operations of the Trust and threatening the sustainability of the scheme.
Mr Kwasi Boatin made the disclosure during a courtesy call on Mr. Isaac Osei, Ghana's High Commissioner to the UK during a one-week working visit to London.
Mr. Boatin described the debt accumulated by the Trust as unsustainable and announced that SSNIT was collaborating with the media in a nationwide public education campaign to dispel widespread public misconception that the loans were free.
He reminded the over 200,000 defaulters of the scheme that it was their "civil and social responsibility to take advantage of facilities provided by the Trust to redeem their indebtedness wherever they find themselves".
The Financial Controller announced that SSNIT had finalised an arrangement with the Ghana International Bank, 69 Cheapside, London, EC2P 2BB, under which beneficiaries resident in the United Kingdom and Europe could repay their loans.
Mr. Boatin disclosed that the trust would soon launch its Pension Scheme in the United Kingdom in collaboration with Ghana International Bank to encourage Ghanaian nationals in the UK to contribute towards their retirement in Ghana.
On his part, the High Commissioner underscored the significant contribution SSNIT was making towards the socio-economic development of the country.
He said the government would continue to count on the support of SSNIT loans for the development of tertiary education in Ghana.
Mr. Osei pledged to sensitise the Ghanaian community in the UK on the issue and urged all stakeholders to throw their weight behind the recovery campaign.
Present at the meeting were Mr. Richard Asamoa-Mensah, head of Student's loan, SSNIT, Mr. Ray Sowah, head of Banking, Ghana International Bank, London and Mr. Fritz Andoh, Minister Counsellor Information, Ghana High Commission, London.