Seventy (70) workers of the Informal Sector Fund (ISF), a subsidiary of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), are yet to receive their salaries for November and December 2011 because of financial crisis facing the fund.
Although the Board of Directors of SSNIT, under the chairmanship of Mr Kwame Peprah, has advised SSNIT to help pay the salaries of the affected workers, no action has so far been taken.
The ISF was established in 2005 by SSNIT on a pilot basis to cater for the social security needs of people in the informal sector, including hairdressers, tailors, seamstresses, farmers and taxi drivers, who contribute according to their might and benefit from the fund in the short and long term.
After three successful years, the fund was expanded in 2008 and currently has 16 offices across the country, 70 permanent members of staff and 150 collectors who are paid allowances and commission by SSNIT on what they collect.
According to some of the aggrieved workers, prior to the Christmas holidays, the management of SSNIT had given a directive to them and all collectors of SSNIT contributions in the informal sector to go on break till January 23, 2012.
The situation, they said, had created apprehension among them that their appointment might be terminated or they would be redeployed.
According to reports, SSNIT was looking for alternative ways, such as a strategic investor, to fund its subsidiary company.
The workers said unless an urgent solution was found to the problem, SSNIT could lose over 100,000 of its contributors in the informal sector who paid as much as GH¢800,000 monthly.
The current development could lead to panic withdrawal of money by contributors, as they would fear for the security of their funds, they said.
The Managing Director of the ISF, Dr Francis Sapara Grant, when contacted on phone, denied claims of the non-payment of salaries and directed the Daily Graphic to the General Manager, Finance and Administration, Mr William Sasu, who, meanwhile, confirmed that some of the workers had not been paid.
He, however, said SSNIT, which is the parent company, was yet to release its budgetary support for 2011 and also arrears for 2010 and gave an assurance that that should be done within the coming week.
He said the last time the ISF was supported by SSNIT was in May 2010 when it was given money to cover the payment of salaries for part of the previous year and 2010, saying the fund still expected the balance for 2010 and money for 2011.
Source: Daily Graphic