Government is yet to settle public sector workers’ contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), amounting to ¢4.33 billion, the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report has revealed.
The report is therefore recommending that management should liaise with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the Ministry of Finance on the payment plan for defraying the outstanding debt.
It, also, wants management to explain that SSNIT already has a payment plan with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the outstanding debt is paid.
It however mentioned that government has so far made some efforts to settle the indebtedness, citing the year 2020, in which two bonds totaling ¢1 billion were received as part payment of the indebtedness.
The report further noted that 10 out of 45 unlisted equity companies SSNIT invested in, have not been paying dividend to the Trust for the past 10 years. The total investment value of the 10 companies stood at ¢150.3 million.
“We noted that 10 out of 45 unlisted equity companies SSNIT invested in, have not been paying dividend to the Trust for the past 10 years. The total investment value of the ten companies stood at ¢150.30 million”.
“According to management and from our reviews these investments were all legacy ones. Management however, provided the following explanations and actions that they are currently pursuing to normalise the situation”, it added.
The report therefore recommended that management should assess the operations of the companies to ascertain the reasons behind the poor performance and take strategic decisions that would safeguard the interest of the Trust.
Golden Beach Hotel Limited
The 2021 Auditor General’s Report pointed out that the company continues to record losses, hence their inability to declare and pay dividends.
It explained that recent weak performance has been due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Trust is at an advanced stage in the process of seeking a strategic investor, and a transaction adviser has been working on the selection process”, he stressed.
SSNIT has a 1.3% equity stake in CDH.
The report said the company is not doing well as two key subsidiaries, Ivory Finance and CDH Asset Management have been liquidated and licenses withdrawn by their respective regulators during the financial sector clean-up.
SSNIT stake has been for sale since 2014 but there has been no offer for the past five years.
Bayport Financial Services Limited
The report said the company has not paid dividends since the merger between CFC Savings and Loans and Bayport Financial Services in 2016, mainly because of the integration of the operations of the two companies.
“Integration has been completed and staff downsized. Currently, the company has a positive Income Surplus so looking forward to paying dividends when it records profit. Monitoring the company’s current progress”, the report said.