Search
Close this search box.

SSNIT’s hotels sale fiasco: A betrayal of trust for Ghanaian workers?

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Telegram
Email

As Ghanaians, we entrust our hard-earned pension contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), trusting that the monies will be protected and carefully invested to ensure our financial destiny.

However, the recent sale of four of SSNIT’s six hotels to Rock City Limited, a firm owned by Bryan Acheampong, a current Minister of State and Member of Parliament for Abetifi, has generated severe concerns about the competency and openness of pension fund management.

SSNIT, Ghana’s single statutory organization in charge of administering the national pension system, owes a fiduciary duty to its contributors to maintain the pension fund’s long-term viability and expansion. The organization’s principal goal is to collect contributions from employees, invest the funds, and offer retirement benefits to contributors once they reach retirement age. Unfortunately, recent scandals involving the sale of these hotels have put into question SSNIT’s ability to carry out its mission successfully. Or it’s a leadership crisis?
The specifics of the hotel sale transaction are very disturbing.

According to sources, SSNIT is selling six of its hotel properties, including Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and Trust Lodge Hotel. Four of these are going to Rock City Limited, a corporation led by Bryan Acheampong, a current Minister of State and Member of Parliament. The buyer’s origin, foreigner or Ghanaian should not be a cause for concern. All buyers must meet the criteria. The most significant concern is why politicians should sit and destroy state resources only to later buy them. This is not fair to the citizens. There should be explicit legislation prohibiting politicians, their associates, and assigns from purchasing any government assets.

One of the most pressing questions is why SSNIT, an agency responsible for protecting Ghanaian workers’ retirement money, would choose to sell off large assets, particularly in the hospitality industry, which has historically been a steady and profitable investment for the pension fund. SSNIT’s principal responsibility should be to ensure the growth and preservation of the pension fund, rather than to engage in questionable transactions that could result in financial losses.

Furthermore, the decision to sell these hotels to a company operated by an active government official raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest and cronyism. It is critical that SSNIT’s management maintains the greatest levels of honesty and transparency, ensuring that all investment choices are made only in the best interests of pension fund contributors, rather than for personal or political advantage by any individual or organisation.

The repercussions of this hotel transaction are far-reaching, potentially jeopardising the financial stability of millions of Ghanaian workers. If SSNIT continues to make poor investment decisions and participate in questionable transactions, the pension fund may be depleted, leaving pensioners without the financial resources they have earned through their lifetime contributions.

It is time for Ghana’s government and key oversight organizations to conduct a thorough investigation into the SSNIT hotel transaction and hold the pension fund’s administration accountable. The public deserves to understand the reasoning for this decision, the terms of the sale, and the potential impact on the pension fund’s long-term stability.
We are grateful to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, an anti-corruption fighter, who brought this to public light and filed a complaint with CHRAJ for investigation. This was fully supported by organized labour.

Furthermore, a thorough examination of SSNIT’s investment strategies, governance structures, and decision-making processes is required to guarantee that the organization is acting in the best interests of its stakeholders. To protect the pension fund’s integrity, better regulatory frameworks, increased transparency, and the development of independent oversight procedures may be required.

Finally, the sale of the SSNIT hotels to Rock City Limited, a firm owned by a current government official, is a disturbing development that calls into doubt the competence and integrity of the management of our employees’ retirement funds. As citizens, we have the right to expect accountability and competent management of the pension contributions we have entrusted to SSNIT. The future financial security of Ghanaian retirees is dependent on the effective and transparent management of the pension fund, and we must hold our leaders accountable to guarantee that this fundamental commitment is met.

Source: Evans Mawunyo Tsikata

Share this post :

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Telegram
Email