Senior Prison Officers Grumble …Over ‘Killer’ Pension Contributions For Directors

Samuel Ansah Boateng reports, with additional files from Kwaku Karikari Boakye

Some senior officers of the Ghana Prisons Service have expressed misgivings at some monthly deductions from their salaries meant to be welfare contributions to high ranking officers (directors) due for pension.

According to some of the senior officers who spoke to this paper on conditions of anonymity, they had over the years been burdened with what they described as ‘killer’ contributions, and believes it is high time it stopped.

“Anytime any of our directors is going on pension, both the senior and the junior officers contributed so much to see him off. At a point in time, the junior officers went to the media and they were exempted from it, but now each senior officer pays GH¢45 to see the out-going director off. The last contribution we did was about GH¢24,000 and that was in January, and we did another one in November,” they lamented.

They said their main bone of contention was not just about GH¢45, but multiple deductions which depended on the number of officers going on pension within a particular period. “Let’s say four directors are going on pension this month, it then means the deductions will be made four times. This is really eaten into some of us and we are afraid to speak for fear of victimization. If they get to know any of us is behind this publication, even when we are due for promotion, we may be sidelined, and will be transferred to remote areas. Now you know the country is really hard, we are having hard times looking after our families and they are adding up a hell to our problems. ”

The aggrieved officers however suggested that the contribution be made across board, among all the officers,“than few of them at the highest hierarchy enjoying from our sweat when leaving the service”.

But the Deputy Director of the Prisons Service, Ahwa-Yankey, reacting to the story claimed the service formed a committee, constituting all ranks, and engaged in a wider consultation before the personnel were asked to pay the said amount, and that there was even a deficit of ¢849.00 incurred from the records of last year’s ceremony.

She said all the stations of the service were provided with a statement of account after the ceremony so they could observe and raise concerns if there were any.

Public Relations Officer of the service, DSP Vitalis Aiyeh, for his part averred the money was not only received by directors as being  alleged, but other personnel of all ranks also received  parting gifts when going on pensions.

“Everyone in this service due for retirement receives a parting gift when going home and therefore there is no iota of truth in the allegations that only directors receive the gift after the said amount of money is paid”, he said.