HomeNewsLocal NewsStop sale of hotels to Bryan Acheampong – TUC warns

Stop sale of hotels to Bryan Acheampong – TUC warns

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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has warned the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to stop the reported sale of 60% of its stake in four hotels to Rock City Hotel, owned by MP and Minister for Agriculture Bryan Acheampong.

According to the union, SSNIT was only managing the properties for citizens, therefore, they would not allow SSNIT to sell them to just anyone, especially a Minister of State.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, May 20, the Head of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), Dr. Isaac Bampoe Addo, emphasized that SSNIT has breached several investment guidelines.

He assured that the union would persist in its efforts to halt the sale.

“We want the government to know that these funds are not government funds. These funds are pension funds and pensions are guided by Act 766. We have investment guidelines under Act 766 and clearly, these guidelines have not been followed. Government should be aware that we will not allow them to play ‘chaskele’ with our funds. Should they dare go ahead, it will be the mother of all strikes in Ghana,” he said.

Secretary-General of TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah, questioned the rationale behind the sale, particularly how SSNIT’s stake in the hotels is being handled.

He found it perplexing that the number of hotels in the sale was reduced from six to four and criticized the inconsistency with the original Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

“We find it extremely difficult to understand why SSNIT’s interest in six hotels will be packaged and sold as if all the hotels are in the same financial position. We find it difficult to understand why the original proposal of the sale of SSNIT’s interest in six hotels has been reduced to four.

“We hold the view that this renders the whole process null and void. We have observed that the proposed payment terms have varied from the original MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] based on the recommendations,” he added.

Dr. Baah also expressed dismay over the sale to a company owned by a Minister of State, insisting this was inappropriate.

He called for the immediate cancellation of the sale and urged the Minister responsible for pensions to direct SSNIT’s board of trustees to halt the process, warning of potential industrial action.

“We also find it difficult to understand why SSNIT’s interest in these hotels should be sold to a company owned by a Minister of State. We do not think this is right. We are calling on the Minister responsible for pensions to direct the board of trustees of SSNIT to cancel the process immediately otherwise, else we organised labour will advise ourselves,” he said.

On MAy 17, 2024, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the sale of six hotels owned by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to Bryan Acheampong.

He claimed SSNIT is about to sell a 60% majority stake in six of its hotels to the Minister for Food and Agriculture.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that, the sale of SSNIT’s shares in the hotels lacks due process and violates procurement procedures and called for an investigation into various allegations, including conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.

However, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has explained that Rock City Hotel Limited submitted the best and strongest technical and financial proposal among the bids received, meeting the criteria set out in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

According to SSNIT, the selection process was transparent and strictly adhered to the Public Procurement Act. The Trust emphasized that there was no favoritism involved in selecting Rock City Hotel Limited.

SSNIT explained that, the decision to partner with an investor was initiated to raise capital for further investments in their hotels and to enhance their management.

Mr. Ablakwa has criticized SSNIT’s explanation.

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