The Finance Minister Seth Tekper confirmed this in an interview on the Citi Breakfast show on Friday [November 25].
Some labour unions in the country including the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and Ghana Medical Association (GMA) earlier this month threatened to embark on a strike if government did not immediately transfer their pension contributions to their private fund managers.
The Chairman of the Forum of Public Sector Labour Unions and Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Dr Isaac Bampoe told Citi News, “our demand was that the second tier should be transferred to our custodian banks but as we speak now, nothing has been done”
But according to the Finance Minister, the government is actively working to address their concerns.
Seth Tekper told host Bernard Avle that the demands of the labour unions could not be exactly satisfied because their demands called for the elimination of the validation process is against public financial management practice.
“What the labour unions are saying is that the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) is a regulatory institution and is not an implementing agency and therefore, when the money is received by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department it must be paid to their banks directly.”
“We are saying, when you do that, you are removing a very important element of public financial management which is validation. The Controller is not equipped to do the validation, so can we bring in SSNIT for example, that is equipped to do the validation before the payment.”
“Yes we are owing, there is a schedule for payment, and we are on it,” the minister said. According to Seth Tekper, the value of the monies will not be lost while a lasting solution is being sought.
“We are taking steps. We are not keeping it [monies]. The Auditor General does the validation; we have brought them on board because they do all forms of audit which often delays because of the various validations they do; they are helping us with payroll and others. We are straining the internal audit agency to some of these things.
“We are saying that given that, it is a regular flow that comes in all the time, what you need is an institution that can do the validation with that expertise,” he said.