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13.09.2005 Business & Finance

Employers in Sekondi-T'di owe SSNIT 85 billion cedis


Takoradi, Sept. 13, GNA - Some 186 public schools in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis owe the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) 85 billion cedis in workers contributions. This makes the metropolis the highest indebted area to SSNIT, Mr. Thomas Agawu, General Manager in charge of the Trust's operations, has disclosed.

He also said some employers in the country were at the moment paying minimum wages as low as 30,000 cedis a month to their workers and often give flimsy excuses for flaunting the law on wages. Addressing a day's seminar for employers in the metropolis at Takoradi on Tuesday, Mr. Agawu said defaulting employers would face severe sanctions prescribed by law if they failed to honour their obligations to SSNIT and their workers.

The seminar was organised by SSNIT to update the knowledge of employers on the current operations of the Trust and participants' contribution towards enhancing its operations.

Soon, the defaulting institutions or businesses would be published as a first step to recover the moneys, Mr Agawu said.

Mr. Agawu attributed part of the delays in the payment of pension to retired workers to the tendency of the failure by many employers to pay promptly contributions of their workers to SSNIT.

He also warned that SSNIT payment of workers premium towards the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had been structured in a way that only workers whose contributions are paid to SSNIT would benefit from services rendered by the scheme.

Mr. Kwaku Osei Bimpong, Head of Public Affairs of SSNIT appealed to employers to support the Trust to achieve set goals including the provision of prompt and accurate service to workers. "We are adopting new ways of doing things to achieve set goals and objectives that we will all be proud of".

Mr. Bimpong reiterated that the Trust was working to realise its vision to become a world-class financial institution dedicated to the promotion of the economic security of the Ghanaian worker. He said SSNIT personnel were being given orientation that would enable them to provide a new image for the Trust and asked the public not to hesitate to report management or any official who failed to give satisfactory service.

"Do not keep problems you encounter at any of our offices to yourself but report unsatisfactory services to the manager in charge", Mr. Bimpong said.

Mr. George Blege Takoradi branch manager of SSNIT said the prompt payment of benefit to retired workers was the responsibility of the Trust, employer and the worker.

He said workers and employers should provide accurate information that goes into the preparation of data of workers' pension claims. Mr. Blege appealed to employers to help to identify students who have failed to pay for loans for their education and also urged guarantors of such loans to keep track of students they have assisted. He said guarantors would have to pay for such loans from their pension claims if they failed to track these students and prevail on them to pay up as soon as they started working.