By Mathias Tulasi
[dropcap]G[/dropcap]ood afternoon fellow Ghanaians.
l hope we are all now, day by day getting a clearer picture of the unfortunate change we have made as a country? But then it is said that, we learn from our mistakes so definitely this has also afforded us another opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Let us just pray for the grace of God to lead us through it till 2020 to enable us correct the mistakes we have made.
It is very painful, sad and unthinkable how out of negligence and incompetence emanating from the philosophy of am in a “rush”crusaders about 26,000 workers were deleted from the pay roll in April because the government of the day claimed they were Ghosts as a result of not doing their SSNIT Biometric Registration.
I am of the firm believe that, as a country and people we are getting sick [ads1]in some of our actions towards our own country men and women.
The fact remains that, SSNIT is for pension so why should government delete someone’s name because his or her pension contribution number is not showing on their pay slips?
In as much as, l do agree that the contribution of every member must reflect in his or her account with SSNIT it was wrong for them to have been deleted from the pay roll because of it.
The reason is very simple, because it is not as if their deductions are not done at the end of every month,the deductions are done monthly though their numbers were not showing.
I could recalled vividly under the reign of Former President Kuffour how the SSNIT numbers suddenly disappeared from the pay slip of numerous workers especially teachers and it took some people even after 4 years and more before their numbers were restored but in all that, the people were not deleted or termed as Ghosts.
In light of this unprecedented deletions,many unions came out especially NAGRAT to tell government their members were not Ghosts as alluded to but then,government thought it was a joke.
I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the leadership of NAGRAT for always fighting for the rights of their union members.
Surprisingly, HE President Nana Addo was so so happy about the deletions and considers it as an achievement of his government and went ahead to congratulate the Finance Minister Mr. Ken Ofori Atta for saving some millions of Ghana cedis for the state through the deletion exercise.So in effect was any money actually saved?
Now critically looking at this issue as far as teachers are concerned.We all know that, teachers were on vacation in the Month of April across the country,so one will ask if you claimed they were Ghosts which means they must not be paid for work not done, do you have the delete them when they were on vacation?
These teachers have been paid their monthly salaries with the budget of the Mahama led administration until the end of March 2017. So to Mahama led administration they were living Ghanaian workers.
So why should the first ever salary to be paid by this current government then suddenly the people became Ghosts?l can’t understand this so someone should help explain it to me.The affected persons are now hungry and life is very difficult for them.
Shockingly enough, Mr Ken Ofori Atta came out to apologized to the Ghosts saying they were wrongly deleted.This l must admit l commend him, for boldly saying sorry to the affected Ghosts. But will sorry put food on their tables?
Some Ghanaians are therefore,of the view that, the government was in financial difficulty and that necessitated their elimination by rough tactics approach in the name SSNIT Biometric Registration. Could this be true?
To me,there might be an iota of truth in it because for the first time ever in the history of Ghana all workers did not received their salaries before May Day Celebration which was very abnormal.
Again to confirmed this assertion, the President in the past few days is noted to have said “Times are hard” meaning there is no money. Just after one month salary of workers of which about 26,000 are even yet to be paid?
So is the President expecting Ghanaians to listen to his cry about “Times are hard”? When Ghanaian cried out to him to enable him reduced his elephantine 110 ministers and their deputies government size did he listened to them?Now is he saying there is no money? Hahahaha there is plenty money!
Till now the resurrected Ghosts have not been paid their salaries for the Month of April and life is really really tough for the affected workers and their families.
Surprisingly banks have started sending text messages to those workers who took loans from them and defaulted in payment for the month of April indicating they will pay penalties.
The bone of contention is that,should the innocent workers be made to pay the penalties on their loans out of the negligence of someone?
I am of the view that,the finance minister must respectfully be the one to pay all the penalties on the loans of the affected Ghosts workers to serve as deterrent to others.
So the banks should compile their records of all those who defaulted in payment of their loans and put the penalties together which must be paid by the finance minister accordingly.
Like in the recent case of the Principal of Amedzofe College Of Education who has been punished for 3 months without salaries beginning this month ending for allowing the school’s vehicle to be used to cart firewood for the college. There must be justice for all manner of persons.
God bless our homeland Ghana.