WORKERS ON government payroll, among them are nurses, teachers, agricultural extension workers and journalists, whose April 2017 salaries did not reflect in their accounts due to anomalies with their social security numbers, have inundated the Brong-Ahafo regional office of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust ( SSNIT) to have the anomalies corrected.
The workers, who expressed misgivings about the unpaid April salaries, said they had been mistaken for ghosts by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department as their names had been punched out of the government payroll.
According to some of them who spoke to Daily Guide, although they have SSNIT numbers and have been contributing to the fund, they don’t understand why the problem this time round. A driver with the Ghana News Agency, Adams Mohammed, lamented to DAILY GUIDE, “I am living but they say I am dead, can you imagine?”
Officials at the regional SSNIT office would not explain to the paper what actually the problem was, claiming that they had not been authorized to talk to the media. They however, asked this reporter to call the corporate director of SSNIT, Eva Amegashie, for explanation. When she was reached, she told the paper that she was in a meeting and so couldn’t have any discussions with the reporter. Her deputy, Victoria Abaidoo, offered some explanation on the phone.
Explaining, Madam Victoria Abaidoo said SSNIT had no problem with workers’ unpaid salaries but the fund was only making sure that their SSNIT contributions were paid by their employers. She said if an employee has SSNIT number but fails to provide the correct numbers to the employer to pay for their SSNIT contributions, the trust cannot be held responsible; “but if you fail to do that or give wrong numbers to your employer, then SSNIT cannot be blamed because it will not tally with our figures hence, we see you to be ghost.”
Ms Victoria Abaidoo said most employees also quote their SSNIT numbers wrongly to their employers, which means when SSINT keys in the figures, they do not correspond with what they have. “Now that the Controller and Accountant General’s Department is using SSNIT numbers to validate workers before they are paid, they have been found to be ghosts” she remarked.
She said the trust started the biometric registration two years ago and all workers ought to have 13 digits biometric figures. Any number less than 13 or more than that is wrong. She said those who have 12 digits on their pay slips must know it is wrong and so they must change it to 13 digits. According to Ms Abaidoo, some workers have 13 digits all right – both on their pay slip and with the controller – but in writing them, they make mistakes with the figures and so cannot be validated. Old workers who have 8 digits too are being told to change to 13 biometric figures.
She disclosed that some workers registered for the biometric all right but failed to come for their cards and so could not be validated.
In the Sunyani office alone, about 400 biometric cards registered between 2014 and 2015 are still lying with the trust. “Now that their salaries are not coming, they are rushing to claim them,” according to an insider who spoke to Daily Guide on condition of anonymity.
Source: Daily Guide
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