SSNIT stoical over GH¢ 2.4million Vanef payment

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is yet to retrieve the questionable GH¢ 2.4million it paid to Vanef two SSNITmonths after the B&FT first brought the issue to the attention of the pensions manager.

Mr. Peter Hayibor, the General Manager/General Counsel of SSNIT said in June that: “Unless anybody draws attention to it, it wouldn’t be known.”

However, two months after the story broke the pension’s manager and largest non-bank financial institution is yet to retrieve the money.

The Board of Trustees of SSNIT, who are responsible for the policy direction of SSNIT and has representation from government, employers and workers, are believed to have met over the issue but concrete measures are yet to be taken to retrieve the cash.

B&FT on June 16, 2014 published that Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) paid over GH¢2.4million on behalf of Intercity STC (STC) Company Limited to the former owners of STC, Vanef Consortium, to settle a dispute, when in fact Vanef rather owed STC over GH¢2.8million,

SSNIT, which is the majority shareholder of the ailing transport company, made the payments to Vanef Consortium, represented by Mr. James Owusu Bonsu, the Managing Director, in July and August 2011.

It, however, after investigations by the B&FT came out that that Vanef was rather indebted to STC to the tune of GH¢2,832,204 at the time of payment which remains outstanding as at the date of first publication.

Vanef’s liability to STC has been in the transport company’s books since 2003.

Ironically, on July 7, 2011 SSNIT paid Mr. Owusu Bonsu, Managing Director of Vanef Consortium Limited (VCL), an amount of GH¢2,325,006 without the knowledge of STC. Another payment of GH¢97,247.11 was also made to Mr. Owusu Bonsu on August 24, 2011.

SSNIT, however, explained that Vanef sued STC in court seeking various reliefs. SSNIT and its partners then met and decided to settle the case at the pre-trial stage for about GH¢2.4million oblivious of the fact that Vanef owed STC so much.

Some members of the Board of Trustees think that if SSNIT was short- changed, Vanef should be made to pay back.

Mr. Hayibor, who was part of the negotiations with Vanef, said: “If Vanef owed STC and Vanef was going to be paid, that could have been used to offset what Vanef owed STC.”

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