Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to make available some token for contributors for three months to help mitigate the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on the lives of workers.
According to NDC flagbearer Mahama, social security contributions are essentially an insurance scheme made, not just for pensions in old age, but also to help contributors in times of adversity such as this.
In a Facebook Live session on Thursday, 23 April 2020 on Ghana’s COVID-19 situation,monitored by www.maxfmlive.com, Mr Mahama said: “My office has been flooded with correspondence from many working-class people, especially in the private sector, who have not received their February and/or March salaries, and are having a difficult time feeding and taking care of their families.
“The lockdown may have been lifted but many businesses are still down and suffering. Employees are suffering, too, just as the many players in the informal sector.
“It makes me wonder why our SSNIT has not been responsive in this time of need of many contributors. Social Security contributions are, essentially, an insurance scheme made not just for pensions in old age before we die.
“They are also meant to help contributors in times of adversity such as this. Remember that not all will come out and queue for food. Not all will come out of their homes to receive the food boxes we hand over.
“But as has been done in other countries like St. Lucia, I think a token payment to all contributors of a certain token sum over three months would have afforded many the assurance of feeding their families during these abnormal times.”
The Management of SSNIT, meanwhile, has presented a cheque for GHS500,000 to the COVID-19 Trust Fund.
The presentation by Mr Mahama was in response to the call made by President Akufo-Addo for all to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic which has become a global and national threat.
Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, the Chairman of the SSNIT Board of Trustees, who presented the cheque, explained that since the operations of the Trust depends on organizations, their workers and the self-employed, the business of the Trust would be gravely affected should these organisations collapse or lay off their workers.
Dr Kufuor said the Trust, therefore, deemed it proper to support government with what he described as a “pensioners’ mite” to support efforts by the government to quickly end the pandemic.