Former Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson, says the deal between Rock City Hotel and the social security organisation should be halted.

According to him, SSNIT had not performed due diligence in the process it adopted towards selling off 60% of its stake in four hotels.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on May 22, he explained that SSNIT is a pension firm; hence, before certain strategic decisions are made, the organisation must ensure that all boxes are ticked. However, from the concerns raised, it appears SSNIT was rushing the process.

“I think that at this state, it might be necessary for the SSNIT board to just stop the transaction. The procedure they've used is not the best. SSNIT is a pension fund and it is a long-term investor. It is not a bank-holding deposit so SSNIT investments are analysed from serious.

“You just therefore can’t exit from SSNIT investment that way. For investments like the hotels and the role they’ve played in this country if you want to exit from them, you have to do a lot of background work.

"And that means that you need experience on how to handle it. I was surprised that from 2018, a process of this nature started without engaging the TUC,” he told host, Evans Mensah.

He argued that although the Trades Union Congress has representatives on the SSNIT board, issues pertaining to investment should engage key stakeholders. He stressed that “there is a practical way of handling sensitive issues of this nature.”

National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, promised to sponsor a private member's bill in Parliament in a bid to prevent politicians and politically exposed persons from purchasing state assets.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, May 21, the legislator was hopeful that the bill when passed would address the gaps in the current legal regime which is being exploited by political actors.


The young legislator is in the news currently after lodging a formal petition with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Social Security and National Insurance Trust's intended sale of its 60% per cent stake in six hotels to Rock City Hotels Limited owned by a Member of Parliament and Minister of State, Bryan Acheampong.

The hotels under scrutiny in the petition include the Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and the Trust Lodge Hotel.

Mr Ablakwa's petition to CHRAJ seeks an investigation into various allegations, including conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.

SSNIT Response

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in response denied any foul play in the transaction.

It insisted that the process in selecting a buyer was transparent and strictly adhered to the Public Procurement Act to select Rock City Hotel, among five other hotels that applied.

In a statement, SSNIT 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).

SSNIT assured the public it would cooperate fully with CHRAJ throughout its investigation process.

Byran Acheampong reacts

Mr Acheampong on Tuesday said the allegations peddled by Mr Ablakwa suggesting that he's committing any wrongdoing in Rock City's proposal to purchase 60% of shares in SSNIT's four hotels are false and baseless.

Speaking on JoyFM's Super Morning Show, the Abetifi MP expressed his disappointment in the stance taken by his colleague.

"You are just adding things together and trying to destroy me and trying to destroy Rock City. It is most unfair, it is 'un-Ghanaian' and you should stop it," he told Mr Ablakwa who was also on the Super Morning Show.

The next step

But, Mr Ablakwa is not relenting. He told Evans Mensah, Host of News Night on Joy FM that he will petition to the Speaker of Parliament to address the issue.

“I have obtained the full list of 47 ministers and MPs diligently and I know for a fact that indeed, Bryan Acheampong confirmed this morning that he has not complied with the provisions of the Constitution. So I certainly will bring this to the attention of the Speaker as soon as the house resumes.”

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.