The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) paid a total of over GH¢372.87 million to some 241,675 pensioners in September 2023.
This shows the commitment of the pension scheme by the Trust.
Currently, the SSNIT Pension Scheme has an active membership of over 1.9 million contributors.
Meanwhile, the Trust has held a two-day technical seminar on leveraging digitalisation to extend social security coverage in West Africa has been held in Accra.
The seminar was hosted by SSNIT, under the auspices of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) – an international organization for social security institutions, government departments and agencies of which SSNIT is a member.
The purpose of the meeting was to identify innovative solutions and practices in the use of digital and mobile technologies to extend social security coverage in the West African sub-region.
During the regional Social Security Forum for Africa, held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in May 2023, one of the conclusions reached was that social security in West Africa has made some progress over the past decade through the strengthening of legal frameworks and administrative structures.
Despite the progress made, large segments of the population in the region, particularly, workers in the informal sector and self-employed workers, remain without social security cover.
The COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for the development of banking services for insured persons and the introduction of new services based on mobile phone technologies. This did not only cushion people from the effect of the crisis, but also created new opportunities to extend social security coverage to the difficult-to-reach category of workers.
It is against this background that the ISSA technical seminar was organised to identify innovative solutions in the use of digital and mobile technologies to extend social security coverage to self-employed persons and workers in the informal sector.
Speaking during the seminar, the Secretary General of ISSA, Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano expressed appreciation to Cote d’Ivoire for hosting ISSA’s Liaison Office and to Ghana for accepting to host the Office for the next three years.
He indicated that Ghana was chosen to host the 2023 Seminar as well as the ISSA Liaison Office because SSNIT has shown commitment and leadership in social security administration thereby enhancing social protection in Ghana.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, in his remarks noted that the region’s inability to cover a large percentage of the workforce under social security schemes is partly due to a lack of digitalised procedures to ease the registration process.
“This indicates that leveraging digitalization to extend social security coverage is critical. Therefore, investing in this to extend social security coverage is not an aspiration that can be deferred to the future. I therefore call on social security institutions within West Africa to take advantage of the emergence of digital technologies to bridge the wide coverage gap”, Mr. Baffour Awuah noted.
In his welcome address, the Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, charged participants to focus on technology that impacts positively on service delivery and access to social security.
“Let us not come at the discussions purely from an administrative point of view, but focus on how we can use available technology to truly impact the lives of our people. We cannot fail in this endeavour, because when you look at the map for social security coverage globally, you will find that Africa is one of the least covered areas even though our populations continue to grow at substantial rates”.
“We must find ways of using technology among other interventions to increase the reach of social protection for the vast majority of our people”, Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang indicated.
Transfer of ISSA Liaison Office
The seminar also saw the Transfer of ISSA Liaison Office from Cote d’Ivoire to Ghana.
Ghana has been chosen to host the Office from 2023 to 2026. The Office will be located at the Trust Emporium, Airport City in Accra and will be responsible for promoting excellence in social security administration in the West Africa sub-region.
The Office will also be responsible for developing dynamic social security systems and policies, serving as a communication channel between the West Africa sub-region and the ISSA General Secretariat, gathering information on region-specific interests, needs, and challenges among other functions.
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