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29 August 2017

Exclusive: Alabi led-SSNIT board ‘blows’ $150m on abandoned project

In the latest twist to some questionable transactions at SSNIT, Joy News has gathered the sum of $150 million was spent by the Trust on a housing project without a value for money audit.

Documents intercepted by Joy News have revealed the Professor Joshua Alabi led-SSNIT Board authorized the use of the fund in 2015.

The projects included the Dunkonah Housing Project, which was to provide 608 housing units and the 1,760-unit Housing Project at Klagon in Accra.

The two projects constructed in collaboration with Regimmanuel Limited were to cost $250 million, with SSNIT committing $150 million.

The minutes from the Trust’s 279th Board of Trustees meeting held on December 15 and 16, 2015, disclosed a decision was taken to conduct a value for money audit on the two projects before execution.

Accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was singled out to conduct the audit.

The meeting was attended by all the Trustees of the Trust with the exception of then deputy Finance Minister, Mona Quartey who represented the Finance Ministry and SSNIT’s Director-General, Ernest Thompson.

But this was to change at the 288 Board of Trustees meeting held on January 21, 2016. The value for money audit, which was to be conducted on the projects, was cancelled.

The SSNIT Director-General and Representative of the Finance Ministry who were absent in the earlier meeting were present in that meeting.

The only person who could not make it was the representative of the Ghana Employers’ Association, Terence R. Darko who pushed for the value for money audit at the earlier meeting.

Records from the meeting indicated he sought permission for his absence.

But months after the two projects were completed, Joy News sources at SSNIT have disclosed the new management of the Trust said the projects are not yielding the needed dividends.

The new SSNIT boss, John Tenkorang and his team are struggling to sell off the “problematic” project, Joy News has learnt.

President of IMANI-Ghana, Franklyn Cudjoe has described the development as “criminal,” saying the Trust is no longer fit for the purpose for which it was established.

He told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Tuesday,  an investment in crops and animals will yield better results than SSNIT.

“The sum is too staggering,” he said, adding it is apparent the Trust does not have the interest of the country at heart.

Mr Cudjoe implored then Board Chairman of SSNIT, Professor Alabi to make public his involvement in the matter.

“He has a lot of questions to answer,” he said, adding “I will be pleased to hear from him.”

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