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10.08.2004 Business & Finance

SSNIT should be transformed into mortgage institution

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Accra, Aug. 10, GNA - The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) should be transformed into a mortgage guarantee institution to provide housing facilities for contributors, a National Governance Programme Officer, suggested on Tuesday.

Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, the Officer, said if this was done, it would help reduce the high incidence of corruption and workers who clandestinely collected money to enjoy better pension would desist from such practices.

Mr Asamoah, who was speaking at a capacity building training workshop on anti-corruption and good governance in Accra, said due to the meagre nature of the pension packages workers utilized every opportunity to build empires before they retired.

The six-day workshop, which is being organised by Les Aspin Center for Government Training, a non-governmental organisation, is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Representatives from District Assemblies; Non-Governmental Organisations and other civil society organisations from Ghana, Mali and Nigeria are attending the workshop.

Mr Asamoah noted that efforts to curb corruption would not yield the desired results if the Government, responsible stakeholders as well as civil society did not develop a sense of participation at the appropriate levels and demonstrate responsible behaviour.

"Enforcing political will to fight corruption should not be the preserve of the political leaderships only but must be pursued actively by businessmen, professionals, trade unionists and religious bodies, among groups."

Mrs Sharon Cromer, Director, USAID/Ghana, said her outfit would continue to support programmes focused on the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance.

She said corruption posed a serious challenge to countries, particularly fledging democracies.

Mrs Cromer called on non-governmental organisations to develop programmes with clearly defined objectives and accurate financial record system that would make them credible and trustworthy.