The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Student Loan Repayment Initiative has been launched in London.
H.E. Mr. Isaac Osei, Ghana's High Commissioner to the UK supported a three-member SSNIT delegation led by Mr. Kwasi Boatin to launch the initiative. Other members of the delegation were Mr. K. Osei Bimpong, Head of Public Affairs and Richard Asamoah-Mensah, Head of Student Loan Scheme.
Also present was Mr. Ray Sowah, a Manager at the Ghana International Bank which is the collaborative bank of the initiative.
Under the recovery effort, all beneficiaries living outside Ghana are required to obtain up-to-date balance by sending emails either to [email protected] or [email protected] quoting their names, social security number, start and completion date of their respective educational institutions.
In the United Kingdom, payments could be made to Ghana International Bank located at 69 Cheapside, London, EC2P 2BB, account no. 01483702, sort code 70-06-13 or SWIFT - GHIB GB 2L.
Payment could be made in the United States to J.P. Morgan Chase, Ghana International Bank Account CHAS US 33 – SWIFT GHIB GB 2L, Account no. 01483702.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Kwasi Boatin told the gathering that SSNIT had disbursed a total of C550 billion (about £33m to some 193,000 beneficiaries).
He outlined the objective of the initiative, namely, to create awareness of the debt obligation of beneficiaries and to make it easy for beneficiaries to repay their loans.
In his contribution, Mr. K. Osei Bimpong said since the student loan scheme was one of the company's portfolio, it was imperative for SSNIT to perform to enable it meet its primary contractual obligation of paying pensions when they become due.
He pointed out that the SSNIT Pension scheme was a partially funded programme which depended on contributions as premiums from members as well as investment income from the scheme's investment portfolio.
Mr. Osei Bimpong said that the huge debt impacted negatively on the financial health of the pension scheme and additionally the sustainability of the student loan programme.