Engineers & Planners Company Limited settled arrears owed the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) a day before hearing was to take place at the SSNIT Saturday court on April 29, 2017, following the suit against its Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Mahama.
The Public Affairs Director of SSNIT, Eva Amegashie, confirmed this to Citi News, but said a criminal offence was still pending, with the next hearing scheduled for May 13, 2017. “Engineers and planners’ indebtedness was settled a day before the court hearing on Saturday. They paid on Friday when the court hearing was on Saturday. But the criminal offence is still pending because they were taken to court and it is the court that will decide on the final verdict on Saturday, 13th of May, 2017,” she said. Earlier on, documents sighted by Citi News shortly after the SSNIT court action, indicated that, Engineers & Planners Company Limited defaulted in the payments, which resulted in SSNIT abrogating a payment plan with the company, and imposing penalties on the arrears amounting to GHc 1.322 million.
The payments were supposed to have been made by February 28, 2017. In the suit against Ibrahim Mahama, SSNIT noted that, his company was per the National Pensions Act of 2008, Act 766, expected to pay social security on behalf of his employees at the end of every month.
But inspections conducted by officers of the Trust into the pay books of Engineers & Planners Company Limited revealed that, between the period of February 2015 to July 2015, June 2016, to August 2016, and October 2016, there were unpaid Social Security contributions amounting to GHc 668,754.75.
A letter dated March 10, sighted by Citi News, indicated that Engineers & Planners Company Limited defaulted in the payments because of what it called “unexpected delays in our receivables on current contracts executed.” The company further urged SSNIT to reconsider its decision to abrogate the agreement. But in a response, also sighted by Citi News, SSNIT denied the request to reconsider the abrogation of the negotiation, and advised Engineers & Planners Company Limited to “source other means of funding to recover all arrears and penalties” before the 30-day deadline following the service of the notice on March 3, 2017.
Ibrahim Mahama’s issues with SSNIT follow his meetings with the Economic Organised Crime Office (EOCO), over accusations of financial malfeasance, after which he was ordered to pay about GHC 12 million. The meetings with EOCO followed allegations that he had issued 44 dud cheques to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as payment of duties at the port.