Reverend Johnson Avuletey, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, has challenged the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to redouble efforts at capturing self-employed and workers in the informal sector in the Region under the Scheme.
He observed that the state of many aged people especially in the informal sector, who had retired, continued with grave impoverishment at the local and community levels stemming from failure to invest in old age and asked SSNIT to intervene in time.
Rev Avuletey said this in a brief meeting with Mr Newlove Franklin Alorvor, Ho Branch Manager, SSNIT, where he stated his passion to champion a sustainable support system for the aged in the Region.
He said he was discomforted by the state of the elderly in the communities who had devoted time and resources towards nation building but had little to show for it now that they were weak and fragile.
Rev Avuletey said most workers in the informal sector in the Region were predominantly into farming, fishing and petty trading, but failed to invest in their retirement, hence their predicament.
The Deputy Volta Regional Minister expressed optimism about SSNIT’s initiative to bring on board workers in the informal sector, saying “this will be a turning point for the nation in providing guaranteed income replacement for the aged”.
He stated his willingness to collaborate with SSNIT in implementing such initiatives to extend the coverage of the scheme in the Region.
The Ho Branch Manager, said there were 722 registered establishments paying for 7,414 workers.
He said “32 new establishments with a total workforce of 430 were registered during the mass inspection exercise which ended in May, this year, within the catchment area of the Ho Branch”.
Mr. Alorvor assured the Deputy Regional Minister that “management of the Trust is committed to providing adequate pensions for all workers in Ghana in the event of old age or permanent invalidity”.
He indicated that several programmes aimed at taking the services of the Trust closer to members had been introduced.
“Currently SSNIT interacts daily with close to 200,000 members on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook,” the Manager said.
He said there were also Public Education Teams in all branches that visited organisations and social groups to educate them on the SSNIT Scheme.
SSNIT recently embarked on a massive expansion drive to provide social security protection for all eligible active formal and informal workers.
There are about 1.6 million workers contributing to SSNIT out of a working population of 13 million.
The Trust is also running a nationwide campaign to register all employers and workers into the first tier mandatory pension scheme.