Published on 19 August, 2021.
THE SOCIAL Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) said it has been able to recover $4.15 million out of an $11,794,109 loss it registered through the liquidation of some three companies.
A statement issued by the Trust in reaction to the latest Auditor General’s Report on the “Public Accounts of Ghana: Public Boards, Corporations and other Statutory Institutions for the period ended 31 December, 2020” said efforts were still ongoing to make further recoveries of locked-up funds.
According to SSNIT, as at the time the current management was appointed in 2017, the Trust was saddled with large non-performing investment portfolios, adding that, though the audit ended December 31, 2020, the major issues raised predated the present administration with some going as far back as 1985.
The Trust explained that it invested $6.08 million in the Ningo Salt Limited (NSL) in July 2005; $3,650,000 in Granite and Marbles Limited in July 1994; and $5,038,153 in Canada Investment Fund for Africa (CIFA) in June 2005.
The report said in the case of NSL, the $6.08 million stated as loss reduced to $1.93 million, adding that the loan of $4.15 million was granted through Ecobank Ghana Limited. The bank has fully repaid SSNIT with interest on the investment made in July 2005.
On Granite and Marbles Limited, SSNIT managed to retrieve its unpaid social security contributions of GH¢428,337.07.
The report said all the loans were converted to equity before the liquidation. Meanwhile, liquidation was underway and yet to be completed. It added that the final accounts were yet to be submitted to the parties by the liquidator, on the investment made in July 1994.
On CIFA, the Trust said it had recovered $2,064,109 of the total investment, even though CIFA has been under liquidation since 2015.
The report continued that as per the Fund Manager’s 2019 report to shareholders, the liquidation process was yet to be concluded. The investment was made in June 2005.
SSNIT explained further that Subri Industrial Plantation Limited (SIPL), established in 1985, was owned by a consortium of financial institutions with the government having a majority stake of 80.40 per cent.
SSNIT had a 13.60 per cent equity stake in the company which was divested to Plantations Socfinaf Ghana.
The report moreover indicated that management has been in contact with the Ministry of Finance to have the Trust’s portion of the $626,522.47 transferred to SSNIT since 2015.
It said as part of efforts to prevent such occurrences in the future, a new investment policy had been crafted and was being implemented.
It said under the current management, some significant strides had been made to rebalance investments, adding that, for instance, SSNIT had made savings of over GH¢231 million on legacy investments related costs through renegotiation since 2017.
As evidence of its prudent management of funds, the Trust increased its net assets from GH¢8,406 million in 2016 to GH¢11,350 million as of December 2020 (unaudited accounts), representing an increase of 35 per cent.