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SSNIT Faces Heightened Opposition to Planned Sale of Hotel Stakes

Organized labour, which has four representatives on SSNIT's Board of Trustees, held a press conference on Monday, May 2, to voice their objections.

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is encountering significant resistance in its attempt to sell 60% of its stake in four of six hotels to MP and Minister for Agriculture Bryan Acheampong’s Rock City Hotel. This decision has sparked intense opposition from various stakeholders.

Organized labour, which has four representatives on SSNIT’s Board of Trustees, held a press conference on Monday, May 2, to voice their objections. They argued that these properties belong to the citizens and that SSNIT is merely managing them. They insisted they would not permit SSNIT to sell the hotels, particularly to a government minister.

At the press conference, Dr. Isaac Bampoe Addo, Head of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), claimed SSNIT had violated several investment guidelines. He emphasized that the union would continue to oppose 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,” Dr. Addo stated.

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Anti-corruption advocate Vitus Azeem also criticized the planned sale, citing a conflict of interest. He told Accra based Joy FM that Mr. Acheampong, as a Minister of State, might have used his position to influence SSNIT’s board, giving him an unfair advantage in securing the deal.

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On Thursday, May 16, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate and halt the sale of the hotels to the Abetifi MP. In a statement on Monday, May 20, 2024, CHRAJ confirmed receipt of the petition and assured that it would respond to Mr. Ablakwa at the appropriate time, setting the stage for another challenge to the sale.

In defense, SSNIT has stated that the sale is intended to raise capital to invest in and manage their hotels more effectively. SSNIT clarified that the process began in 2018 through International Competitive Tendering (ICT) as required by the Public Procurement Act, a year before the first phase of the Rock City Hotel in Kwawu opened, which could become a contentious point in the transaction.

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While the intended sale of the assets may not be out of place since it will enhance SSNIT’s liquidity, the intended beneficiary raises issues of cronyism in governance.

The hotels involved include Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and Trust Lodge Hotel.

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