SSNIT has transformed, consolidate gains – Outgoing DG, Ofori-Tenkorang tells staff and management

Seven years down the line, since taking office, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang says SSNIT under the Akufo-Addo government has seen massive transformation

The outgoing Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, has said that he can confidently state that under his watch as the Director General over the last 7 years, together with the board, management, and staff of the Trust, they have transformed SSNIT from its struggling state in 2017 to a service-centred organization.

The image of SSNIT in 2017 when he assumed office as the Director General according to Dr Ofori-Tenkorang was so battered that some people referred to the management and staff of SSNIT as “thieves,” a description he was committed to changing. Seven years, down the line, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang says SSNIT under the Akufo-Addo government has redeemed its image equitably.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang made the observation in his parting words to the management and staff of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) at an engagement at the SSNIT head office  on Monday, 15 April 2024. He indicated that in the last few days following the directives given by President Akufo-Addo for him to hand over his duties to his deputy, Mr Kofi Osafo-Maafo, he has taken the time to reflect on the last seven years and he is amazed at how far SSNIT has come.

“Our Image was so battered that we were being called thieves. We were embarrassed to wear our corporate cloth and some external stakeholders were calling for SSNIT to be shut down. What surprised me though in all of this negativity was that I had people also tell me that SSNIT was a good place to work but they were quick to add that they would not give their money to SSNIT.

“The reasons they gave; I am sure we all know. (Lack of transparency, inadequate pensions, poor customer service, and perceived corruption among several other reasons). I have to confess at the time, it did cross my mind that maybe I had bitten more than I could chew. But I also remember that I told you that we were going to build an institution where people would voluntarily bring us their money,” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said.

“Fast forward to April 2024, I look at the SSNIT we have now and I must say I am a very happy man. Indeed, I am quite proud and you, my colleagues, should also be very proud of what we have achieved together. Today we have managed to build a service–centred organization that can anticipate and meet the needs of stakeholders at their preferred touchpoints” the outgoing SSNIT DG further stated.

Notable achievements

Emphasising some of the achievements, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang noted that SSNIT “rolled out additional service delivery touchpoints to improve customer services such as Pensioners’ Priority Desk, DG – direct WhatsApp line, enhanced web portal and social media platforms (growing followership from a mere 7,000 in 2017 to over 526,000 as of March 2024)”.

SSNIT, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said, “introduced and deployed a payment platform known as SSNITPAY to enhance contribution collection; Mobile money wallet (USSD code), SSNIT partner banks, direct debit card, and Mobile Money options via the web portal and SSNIT branches as well as the implementation of the distribution of quarterly electronic Statements of Account to all Members.

The Trust also “successfully rolled out the SSNIT and Ghana Card numbers merger. Over 2.3 million members including inactive contributors, pensioners, and beneficiaries have merged their numbers so far. The Ghana Card is now the primary identification document for all SSNIT transactions. This has eliminated the cost of printing biometric cards for new members, and reduced impersonation and fraudulent activities in payment of claims to pensioners and beneficiaries”.

“Our surveys show that the adoption of these business practices has improved customer satisfaction to 82.9% in 2022 against a performance of 69.7% in 2017,” Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang pointed out while addressing the staff and management of SSNIT.

Expansion of the Trust

Touching on the expansion of the scheme under his leadership, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang observed that with the support of the government, SSNIT worked to sustain the scheme through expansion of coverage, enforcement of compliance, prudent investment of funds, and responsible governance of the Trust.

To this end, SSNIT “increased active membership from 1,315,499 in 2017 to 1,951,494 as of 2023, indicating a growth of 48.34%” and also “rolled out the Self-employed Enrolment Drive (SEED), an initiative targeted at enrolling the self-employed as part of efforts to expand coverage of the Scheme”.

“Since we started this drive, our active membership of self-employed persons on our schemes has more than quadrupled and has also improved the average processing time for Pension applications by 83%. The average processing improved from 47 days in 2016 to 8 days as of March 2024.

“SSNIT made significant savings of GH¢876.61 million through restructuring of some legacy investments, rationalization of our ICT infrastructure, and deactivation of some 19,100 “ghost” pensioners from the pension payroll,” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang remarked.

“SSNIT implemented new investment guidelines and asset allocation policy approved by the Board of Trustees to improve investment returns., completed and monetised Government of Ghana affordable housing projects at Borteyman in Accra and Asokore Mampong, Kumasi, initiated the process for private sector participation in SSNIT hotels to enhance their viability and brought the International Social Security Association (ISSA) Liaison Office for West Africa from Cote d’Ivoire to Ghana” he further remarked.

Digitalization of SSNIT

Digitalization and modernization of SSNIT’s operations according to Dr Ofori-Tenkorang, has also been a top priority under his leadership. He noted that “SSNIT has now adopted state-of-the-art technology for the management and maintenance of accurate, complete, reliable bio and financial data on members.

In 2022, SSNIT, he said, deployed the Integrated Social Security Administration System (iSSAS), a comprehensive operations system that was undertaken by the MIS team of SSNIT and the iSSAS has saved the Trust over US$2 million annually in support costs for its former operations software.

“iSSAS provides superior functionality and allows us to offer enhanced services to our members and clients. Best of all, because it’s “homemade” we can keep tweaking to suit our purposes and whatever operational changes may come in the future at very minimal cost to the Trust” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said.

“SSNIT worked hard to digitalise our operations and service delivery by upgrading the existing SSNIT Website, Portal & USSD platforms and developed a SSNIT App, which is soon to be unveiled, implemented the seamless replication of systems between the primary and secondary data centres to prevent possible data loss and ensure business continuity.

“The Trust also took steps to enhance productivity by deploying a biometric attendance system to monitor staff attendance and improve efficiency in the administration of the organization. The deployment of these systems has significantly improved operational efficiency and enhanced service delivery to our members and clients” he added.

Do it your way 

To the incoming acting Director General of SSNIT, Kofi Bosompem Osafo-Marfo, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang asked the staff and management of SSNIT to offer him their full support. He charged his successor to “do it his way” as was once said by the late Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary-General) to his successor, Ban Ki-Moon.

“We started this journey together. You’ve also been here 7 years – as long as I’ve been here. So, you know the ropes. You know how this place works. So, I’m sure you’ll be fine. I remember watching a short media clip somewhere in 2006. Ban Ki-Moon had been elected Secretary General of the UN and had gone to see the then-outgoing Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan.

“At the end of the meeting, the media ambushed Mr. Kofi Annan. And one of the questions asked was, Mr. Secretary General, what did you tell him? What advise did you give him? He answered, I told him to do it his way. So DDG-IDD, soon to be Ag. DG, I’ll tell you the same. Do it your way,” Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said.

“And now to the deputy director generals (DDGs), managers, and staff, I ask you to offer Mr Osafo-Maafo your full support as he executes his vision for the Trust as you did for me. Support him even more than you did for me so that we can consolidate and build on the successes that we have chalked so far together” Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang added.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

Asaase Radio 99.5 broadcasts on radio via 99.5 in Accra, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 100.3 in Cape Coast and on our affiliates Azay FM 89.1 in Takoradi, Bead FM 99.9 in Bimbilla, Mining City 89.5 in Tarkwa, Sissala Radio 96.3 in Tumu, Somuaa FM 89.9 in Gushegu, Stone City 90.7 in Ho and Wale FM 106.9 in Walewale
Tune in to broadcasts 
online: asaaseradio.com, Sound Garden and TuneIn
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995
Live streaming on facebook.com/asaase99.5. Also on YouTube: 
Join the conversation. Call: 020 000 9951 or 059 415 7777. Or WhatsApp: 020 000 0995.


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected