Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) reportedly spent a whopping GH¢1 million (¢10 billion) of workers' contributions on the supporters of the senior national team, the Black Stars, during Ghana's participation at World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
SSNIT, which struggles to pay workers' pension, was the highest contributor in terms of amount donated to support the football fans for the mundial.
The sports ministry, then under Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, solicited over GH¢4.5 million from corporate bodies to send football fans – mostly National Democratic Congress (NDC) foot soldiers – to watch the football tournament in Brazil.
The Justice Senyo Dzamefe Commission, which investigated Ghana's participation in soccer fiesta, recorded SSNIT as making its contribution on May 2, 2014 and the highest on the list of corporate sponsors.
In recent times SSNIT has reportedly resorted to deducting monies from the salaries of its staff in order to present to the victims of the June 3 flood and fire disaster as part of efforts to fulfill its corporate social responsibility.
It is reported that after bad investments of workers' contributions over the years, the state-owned company is allegedly struggling with cash and that that had compelled it to resort to such an action.
The latest revelation in the Dzamefe report is said to be causing anger among staff of the Trust who are said to have described management's action as misplaced priority.
The recent biometric exercise initiated by the Trust is in limbo because of poor management
Almost all the state institutions that are struggling with cash to make an impact on national development paid huge amounts to support the football fans.
For instance, the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), are all struggling to solve the protracted power crisis (dumsor) due to lack of funds.
The VRA paid a total of GH¢53,500 on two separate dates while GRIDCo and ECG donated GH¢50,000 each and the Ghana AIDS Commission also gave out GH¢3,500.
Agricultural Development Bank, which has been rocked by union agitation as well as the Bank of Ghana, which is struggling to tame the falling cedi against major currencies, donated GH¢250,000 each while Metro Mass Transit, which performance has been limited due to lack of cash, donated GH¢1,235.
The Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) donated GH¢300,000 while SIC Life donated GH¢100,000 according to the report.
By William Yaw Owusu
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