Some 26,589 public sector workers will not receive their salaries due to their failure to register on the new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric system.

This is because Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has directed that their names be removed from the payroll commencing April 2017.

In addition, the Minister has also directed the Controller and Accountant-General to suspend the payment of pensions to some 23,029 people because they could not be accounted for in a nationwide head count which ended on the 22nd of October 2016.

These two directives, resulting in the identification of close to 50,000 ‘Ghost names’ on the Payroll and Pensions Registry were expected to save the country some GH¢35 million in payroll cost on a monthly basis or a total of over GH¢250 million in 2017 alone.

A statement from the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance said the affected workers had failed to register despite many opportunities to do so.
The Minister, in his presentation of the 2017 budget, announced government’s commitment to clean the payroll.

To that effect, the Minister requested that the Controller and Accountant-General on the 10th of February 2017 to inform all public servants on the Government of Ghana mechanised payroll system who had not registered on the new SSNIT biometric system to do so by the end of February 2017.

The notice further stated that commencing end of March 2017, salaries for un-enrolled workers, were to be suspended indefinitely or until the SSNIT enrolment was completed by the said workers.

The February 28th, 2017, deadline was further extended to March 31st 2017 by the Minister of Finance.

This directive will as such now come into effect commencing with the end of April 2017 payroll.

Consequently, those not registered with SSNIT as directed shall be treated as ‘ghosts’ going forward and shall as such be removed from the payroll for April 2017.

The statement said SSNIT was prepared to validate any affected pensioner, across the country, who availed themselves to be counted and validated going forward.

It said several mobile enrolment kits were on standby to cater for affected pensioners who may not be able to travel to their nearest SSNIT district offices to complete the validation process.

The Minister called on all citizens to help protect the public purse as Government was committed to bringing “Ghana beyond Aid”.

“Any real person whose name has been suspended can visit any of the SNNIT branches nationwide to be biometrically re-enrolled. SNNIT has set up enrolment desks within all their offices,” the statement added.