Repay SSNIT Penalty NIA

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Parliament has directed Prof. Kenneth Attafuah, the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), to reimburse more than GH₵98,000, which was deducted from the authority’s account as a penalty due to delayed transfer of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions.

At the meeting held on Wednesday, January 7, 2024, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) issued a deadline of one month to the Executive Secretary of the NIA, requiring him to refund the specified amount.

The Public Accounts Committee, in agreement with the Auditor General’s recommendation, has asserted that Prof. Ken Attafuah and the financial controller are liable for the penalty cost.

During the meeting on Wednesday, January 7, 2024, the PAC issued a one-month ultimatum to the Executive Secretary of the NIA to refund the amount.

“The recommendation stipulates that you are required to repay the money, and it should be recovered from both the Chief Executive and the Financial Controller’’.

“Although you have provided explanations for not disbursing the withheld money to SSNIT, the committee deems you’re explanation unsatisfactory.’’

“they’refore, the Auditor General’s recommendation remains valid: the Chief Executive and the Financial Controller must reimburse the money to the recovery account of the Auditor General within one month,” emphasized Hon. James Klutse Avedzi, the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee.

Prof. Kenneth Attafuah defended the delay in payment of SSNIT contributions by citing a lack of funds. He explained that the National Identification Authority (NIA) prioritized salary payments over SSNIT contributions because of limited resources available at the time.

“Mr. Chairman, the penalty payments were a result of delaying the release of funds, leading to the National Identification Authority’s inability to promptly pay SSNIT contributions on behalf of temporary staff whose deductions had been made. The Authority had outstanding salaries for temporary staff from January to March 2022, with the first quarter funds only being released on April 19, 2022. Given that the staff were already agitating due to not being paid for three months, we prioritized the settlement of they’re salaries. However, they’re were insufficient funds to fully cover both the salaries and the SSNIT contributions. As soon as we received funds the following month, in May, we prioritized they’re payments and settled our obligations to SSNIT.”

 

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