The former Board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Prof. Joshua Alabi has issued a rejoinder on a Daily Guide publication which implicates him in the illegal sales of some housing properties belonging to the Trust.
The Newspaper on Wednesday March 8 reported that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is investigating an alleged financial “rot” at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
The publication further stated the fund’s immediate past Director-General, Ernest Thompson was sacked by Nana Akufo-Addo because he was involved in the alleged financial rot as much as the former board chair, Joshua Alarbi was.
“SSNIT immediate past Director-General, Ernest Thompson, was relieved of his appointment in January by President Akufo-Addo.
“The sacking of Mr. Thompson was reportedly received with excitement by the staff who were of the view that SSNIT was allegedly run down under him, with most of its priced assets including banks like Merchant Bank, being offloaded.
“The outgoing SSNIT board under Joshua Alabi also gave approval for the trust to put a number of its expensive management residential facilities in Accra on sale at the eleventh hour when the NDC was on its way out of government.
“The buildings include six residential properties and two guest houses located in plush areas like North Ridge, Cantonments and Airport Residential Area – all in Accra – but there are concerns that the facilities will be sold at very cheap rates as most state properties are being sold allegedly to cronies,” the Newspaper Stated in its report.
But Prof. Alarbi’s in an article titled REJOINDER: “EOCO CHASES SSNIT” details the sequence of events and processes leading to the approval of the sales which he said had not begun yet.
He also asked the Daily Guide to publish a retraction on the story and apologize appropriately.
Read full article below
REJOINDER: “EOCO CHASES SSNIT”
My attention has been drawn to a publication on page 20 of the March 8, 2017 edition of the Daily Guide newspaper titled “EOCO Chases SSNIT.”
The said publication falsely claimed that the former Board of SSNIT of which I was the Chairman gave approval for the sale of six of the Trust’s prime residential properties in the last days of the previous government.
Here are the facts:
- A Committee which was set up to look into the financial viability of some of the assets of the Trust fund that the listed properties were either unoccupied, or had deteriorated, while others had outlived their usefulness.
- Management explained to the Board that these assets did not yield any cash returns to the Trust and had negatively affected the return on assets ratio while the cost of maintenance of the properties were too high.
- The Committee in its report recommended that the listed properties should be sold.
- Following the recommendations, the Board at its last meeting held on 5th January, 2017 directed that management of the Trust should engage the services of the Architectural Engineering Services Limited (AESL) to value the properties to be disposed off and revert to the Board. That is the incoming Board.
- The Board decided that the report of the valuation should be submitted to the next Board for review and consideration before the process of divestiture begins.
- The Board further directed that the sale should be advertised and bidders should be required to submit bid bonds as part of the process. The Board further directed that in doing so, due process should be followed.
- I am not aware of any contrary decisions taken subsequently regarding this matter. So it cannot be true that the former Board decided to sell properties at the eleventh hour as claimed by the Daily Guide.
The sale has therefore not begun and could not have been concluded by the previous Board.
I expect you to publish a retraction of the paragraph containing the false allegations against my person and the previous Board.
Secondly, I expect Daily Guide to apologize unreservedly for the false publication and give it the same level of prominence.
Finally, I expect this rejoinder to be published in full without any editing whatsoever.
Prof. Joshua Alabi
Former Vice-Chancellor, UPSA