Fmr SSNIT boss spent $34m without board’s approval – Prof Alabi

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Former SSNIT board chairman, Prof Joshua Alabi has revealed that the former Director-General of the trust, Mr Ernest Thompson spent $34m in additional cost on the controversial ICT contract without prior approval from the board.

He said the expenditure items came to the attention of the board after the funds for the procurement of several high-tech software and hardware had already been released.
Sections of the public are astonished that managers of pension funds would implement a project to automate manual procedures at SSNIT at a cost of over $72 million.
What began as a $32 million contract ballooned to $66 million and later to $72 million in the course of four years, from 2012 to 2016.
Despite huge investments into the turn-key project, the ICT infrastructure is said to be malfunctioning, raising serious concerns over value for money, due diligence and what a lawyer has said constitutes grounds for prosecution.
Former UPSA rector, who was part of the last board before a change in government in January, has come out to explain in a statement the circumstances surrounding the contract.
Alabi, who is said to be nursing ambitions to contest in the NDC presidential primaries, said the then Director-General, Ernest Thompson, was queried by the dissatisfied board on the fresh cost after management brought the bill to the board for ratification.
Prof Alabi said there are minutes to show that the board warned the Ernest Thompson-led management never to spend without seeking approval from the board.
He also said the board could not cancel the contract without potential judgement debt implications.
The NDC man also explained that following revelations of the cost implications of the project, the board ordered a value-for-money audit into the operations of SSNIT late 2016.
But the board did not survive the change in government to see the audit start under its watch. The NPP government, which took over, appointed a new Director-General and board, which has initiated the audit.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has also questioned five SSNIT staff about the ICT project.
Prof Alabi also expressed disappointment in some NDC party faithful who are rejoicing that his name has been linked to the SSNIT saga.
He wondered “why a dog would bite a dog in the same family”.


ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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An Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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