A former board member of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Mr. Ofori Acheampong, has challenged critics of the decision to sell off Trust’s majority shares in its hotels to provide alternative options.

He cited the poor performance and substantial losses incurred by the hotels that could jeopardized financial stability of SSNIT.

Mr. Acheampong addressed issues surrounding the sale of SSNIT shares in its hotels, stating that he served on the 13th board of SSNIT and was guided by the law establishing the SSNIT board.

He highlighted the crucial role of effective management in governing a board and stressed the importance of protecting workers’ investments for their retirement.
Mr. Acheampong explained the rationale behind divesting certain investments, such as the hotels, noting that it was not uncommon for SSNIT to sell off shares, as seen in the case of Merchant Bank where SSNIT retained only 3% shares.

Speaking on the challenges faced by SSNIT, in an interview with Kessben FM, the former board member emphasised that government appoints the Board chairman and management of SSNIT.
According to him, some hotels were struggling to cover expenses, including worker salaries, electricity bills, and income tax, prompting the board to authorise management to offload shares to safeguard SSNIT’s interests.

He refuted claims of high hotel occupancy rates and highlighted instances where SSNIT workers were seconded to the hotels but were unable to pay their Social Security. He defended the decision to seek strategic partners to improve the financial viability of the hotels.

Regarding organised labour’s criticism, Mr. Acheampong said he deemed it hypocritical for organised labour to suggest they were unaware of the decision, given that TUC members who served on the board were available for briefings.

The reported sale of SSNIT shares in its hotels was brought to public attention by NDC MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who has petitioned CHRAJ to investigate various allegations, including conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.
Mr. Acheampong’s bold defense sheds light on the complexities and considerations involved in managing SSNIT’sinvestments and the challenges faced by the board in ensuring financial sustainability.