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GH¢43m saved after clearing pension’s payroll – SSNIT

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GH¢43m saved after clearing pension’s payroll – SSNIT

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has saved a whopping GH¢43million as of April this year after deleting over 6,300 ghost pensioners from its payroll.

The Trust in February last year began an exercise to clean the pension’s payroll of ghost names in collaboration with the banks, which monitored dormant accounts over time and terminated those it deemed ghost pensioners.

Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, the Director-General of SSNIT who made this known, indicated that cleaning the pensions payroll formed part of the prudent internal and external management and cost-saving practices aimed at building a robust self-sustaining Scheme.

SSNIT has a total of 1,551,718 active contributors as of March 2019 and 205,094 pensioners on its payroll with the highest paid pensioner receiving GHS55,899.57 a month, while the minimum pension paid is GHS300.00.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang was speaking at an educational forum organised by SSNIT in collaboration with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to discuss social security issues, particularly, on pensions and benefit computations.

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It was aimed at promoting knowledge of the SSNIT Scheme, empowering organised labour as peer educators for the Trust and demystifying controversial issues surrounding computation of benefits to contributors.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang stressed that sustainability of the Scheme was very essential and urged all institutions to ensure that the Trust run efficiently and effectively.

He said the external actuarial valuation suggested that the contribution rate necessary to pay benefits over the next 50 years and to accumulate assets representing three years of total expenditure was around 19.2 percent.

Last year, he said the Trust spent GH¢2.5 billion on benefits payments and indicated that GH¢230million was being spent in funding pensions payment to over 200,000 pensioners monthly.

Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang added that more than one million Cedis was spent on Invalidity Pension every month, adding that SSNIT was committed to paying all legitimate claims.

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He said there were no myths surrounding benefits computation and that, pensions were direct reflections of salaries on which contributions were paid, saying “with the SSNIT pension Scheme, what you put in is what you get”

He said SSNIT had embarked on an aggressive public education agenda to promote knowledge of the scheme among Ghanaians and that the Trust was leveraging on its large social media followers to educate and engage millennial.

Mr. Joseph Poku, the Pensions Manager who took participants through the SSNIT benefits computation, enumerated the three factors that were considered in the computation of benefits under the National Pensions Act 2008, Act 766 as age, average of best 36 months’ salary and earned pension right.

He said a contributor was entitled to a pension right based on the number of months contributed to the Scheme and gave the minimum and maximum pension right earned for 180 and 420 months as 37.5 and 60 percent respectively.

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He said salary was a key factor in the computation of pensions and so the higher the salary one contributed, the higher his pensions.

Mr. Joshua Ansah, the Deputy General Secretary of TUC, noted with concern that some workers connived with their employers to pay little contributions to SSNIT and deposit huge sums to the private trust funds.

He advised workers to be interested in consolidating their salaries in order to have meaningful pension instead of bagging huge allowances, which had no bearing on the computation of pensions.

SSNIT was established in 1972 under NRCD 127. It manages the First Tier Contributions of 13.5 percent of workers’ basic salary. Eleven per cent of the amount is invested in the Social Security Fund, while 2.5 per cent goes into the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

The Ministry of Communications has directed telcos to roll over all unused data and voice bundles purchased by customers.

This will mean unused data and credit will not expire.

“All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge,” the Ministry said in the statement that also directed teclos to cease the instant deduction of the Communications Service Tax (CST).

The Ministry assured that Mobile Network Operators will be subjected to “strict compliance with exiting Quality of Service (QoS) standard to ensure value for the subscribers’ money in accordance with their licence obligations.”

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The directive came in a letter written to the National Communications Authority and was copied the Chief Executive Officers of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication.

The Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said this was part of measures to”minimise the negative impact of deduction of the CST.”

Currently, only AirtelTigo offers data bundles that do not expire.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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Wa Community Co-operative scoops GHC130K profit in 6 months

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Wa Community Co-operative scoops GHC130K profit in 6 months

The Wa Community Co-operative Credit Union (WACCU) made a net surplus of ¢130,426.12 between June 2018 and December 2018, immediate ex-Board Chairman of the Union, Naa Bawa Seidu, has said.

The amount was more than twice the total budgeted surplus of ¢155,833.92 for the period.

Mr Seidu said this while addressing large crowd of members of WACCU during its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Wa on Saturday for the financial year to render accounts to contributors.

The AGM was also to elect new executives including Board members, and Supervisory Committee members to oversee activities of the Union for the next four years.

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Within the period, the Union made a total income of ¢1,883,545.04 which fell short of its target income of ¢2,180,423.59.

But Mr Seidu added that ¢274,510.97 loan loss provision was made to “cater for our deteriorating portfolio quality and for risk growth”.

He assured union members that their leadership would not relent in their efforts to explore available viable means including effectual loan recovery mechanisms and legal processes to recover overdue loans.

The management of WACCU, according to him, was pursuing ten loan cases in court while 26 others had been handed over to Purple Holdings Debt Recovery services to recoup monies due the Union, without resorting to the court.

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“These court actions, though expensive to the Union in money and time, are meant to send a strong signal that the Union will never renege to use the legitimate processes to defend the rights of its members and secure the Union’s resources,” Mr Seidu said.

The newly elected Board Chairman of WACCU, John K. Seidu, pledged that the new board would work to ensure progressive and sustainable growth of the co-operative Union in both membership and financial bases.

He said they would do a feasibility assessment to map out districts and areas to extend their services and ensure its easy access by WACCU members for their mutual benefits.

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As at December 2018, the Wa Community Co-operative Credit Union had 12,208 members with 10,747 fully paid up members, comprising 4,767 females, 5,939 males 1,502 groups and organisations.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

Three African billionaires today have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent, reveals a new Oxfam report today.

The report, called “A Tale of Two Continents”, is launched as African political and business leaders gather this week for the World Economic Forum Africa meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. It shows how rising and extreme inequality across Africa is undermining efforts to fight poverty.

A Tale of Two Continents reveals that while the richest Africans fortunes are increasing, extreme poverty is rising in the continent. The report also looks at how unsustainable levels of debt and a rigged international tax system are depriving African governments of billions of dollars in lost revenue each year – money that could otherwise be invested in education, healthcare and social protection.

The continent is rapidly becoming the epicentre of global extreme poverty. While the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day has plummeted in Asia, this number is rising in Africa. The World Bank estimates that 87% of the world’s extreme poor will be in Africa by 2030, if current trends continue.

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Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said:

“Africa is ready to rise – but only once it’s leaders have the courage to back a more human economy that works for the many and not a few super-rich men. They can achieve this by investing in inequality-busting, universal and quality public services like health and education and by developing truly progressive tax systems. These are particularly powerful for women and girls living in poverty. They can also back a transformation towards decent and dignified work that protects the rights of workers, especially in the age of the African Free Trade Area and the new digital era.”

The report features a first-ever ranking of African nations on their commitment to tackling inequality. The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index, developed by Oxfam and Development Finance International, ranks countries on their policies on social spending, tax, and labour rights – three areas the organizations say are critical to reducing inequality. South Africa and Namibia take first and second place respectively, with their strong social spending and a progressive tax system. Nigeria meanwhile has an unenviable distinction of being at the bottom of the Africa ranking, as well as the global ranking for two years running.

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The report shows that:

3 African billionaires now have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent

The most unequal country in the region, Swaziland, is home to one billionaire, Nathan Kirsh, who is estimated to have $4.9bn. If he worked in one of the restaurants that his wholesale company supplies on a worker’s minimum wage, it would take him 5.7 million years to earn his current level of wealth

The combined wealth of the 5 richest Nigerians is more than enough to end poverty in Nigeria. Nigeria’s girl population makes up 60% of the more than 10 million children who do not go to school.

75% of the wealth of African multi-millionaires and billionaires is held offshore, as result the continent is losing $14billion annually in uncollected tax revenue.

Dangerous and unsustainable levels of debt are hurting social spending. In 2018, Angola spent 57% of government revenue on debt repayments while public spending was cut by 19% between 2016 and 2018. Similar trends are present in Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Mozambique

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African women and girls are also most likely to be poor. They also stand to lose the most when public services like healthcare and education are underfunded. In Kenya, a boy from a rich family has a one-in-three chance of continuing his studies beyond secondary school. However, a girl from a poor family has a 1-in-250 chance of doing so. Women and girls also bear the brunt of failing healthcare systems, clocking in hours of unpaid care work looking after sick relatives. In Malawi, women spend seven times the amount of time on unpaid care work than men.

Ms Byanyima said:

“African political and business leaders face a clear choice. They can stay on the path of increasingly extreme inequality, where poverty continues to rise while wealth in the hands of a tiny elite and foreign companies’ spirals. Or they can choose another way: towards a more prosperous and equal Africa that invests in and respects the dignity of all its people.”

Source: Oxfam International

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