SSNIT ensures business continuity amidst Covid-19 pandemic

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Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang

In 2019, the world was taken aback by the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) which did not only affect lives, but disrupted global trade and various socio-economic activities.

An impact assessment survey conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in November, 2020 disclosed that millions of jobs have been lost with livelihoods at risk. The report further estimated that an additional 130 million people will be living in extreme poverty if the crisis persists.

With nearly all spheres of life affected by the pandemic and its resulting socio-economic impact, the World Health Organization (WHO) outlined some measures aimed at reducing the spread of the virus to protect lives globally.

Most countries including Ghana have been gravely affected by the pandemic and have had to impose restrictions on travel, international trade, business and the general way of life to reduce the spread of the virus.

In responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) implemented measures for a conducive and safe atmosphere in the delivery of its services to Members and Clients. The Trust also had to rethink its business practices to ensure business continuity and stakeholder satisfaction.

Safety of Stakeholders

To prevent spread of the virus at SSNIT offices, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE’s) such as nose masks, face shields, veronica buckets, thermometer guns, sanitisers among others were procured and distributed to all offices of the Trust.

Management introduced the shift system to ensure the safety of staff in delivering essential services to Members and Clients while observing the social distancing protocols. Staff required to work from home were equipped with the needed resources to enable them perform their roles effectively.

Meetings were conducted via zoom and on other online platforms to sustain the day-to-day operations of the Trust.

These measures have proven to be largely successful, with SSNIT emerging as the 2020 Best Customer Service Organisation (Public Sector Category), in a recent a survey conducted by the Institute of Customer Service Professionals (ICSP). Out of the 10 fundamental metrics used as performance indicators for the 12 public institutions, SSNIT scored highest in two of the metrics; Customer focused innovations and COVID-19 preparedness.

These two metrics were major contributory factors in the Trust’s performance. The scores indicate that SSNIT had been creative and innovative, especially with the introduction and application of technology in dealings with its customers.

Technology

In 2020, SSNIT launched the operational business analytics tool to measure work output, improve monitoring and performance in the operations of the Trust.

The business analytics tool has positively impacted various key result areas, driving healthy competition among branches and staff.

Also, actionable intelligence is now available within real time. This has enabled Managers formulate decisive strategies towards improving performance at the Branch and Area levels.

Members were also issued with their annual Statements of Account electronically to enable them check that their contributions are being paid and on the right amounts.

Employers were encouraged to submit and validate their Contribution Report via the self- service portal on the SSNIT website or send an email to their SSNIT branch. Employers could also pay their contributions at any of the 20 SSNIT partner banks nationwide.

Online Public Education

The ultimate goal of the Trust to build and strengthen its relationship with stakeholders, necessitated a stronger emphasis on digital media to sustain the continuous public education of its Members and Clients.

The SSNIT Virtual Infozone was introduced on Facebook live to connect with Members and Clients and ensure continuous public awareness of the Trust and its operations.  Over 162,000 people were reached live on Facebook within the period.

Other digital channels which have been adopted by the Trust to educate Members and the general public include Zoom, Microsoft teams and Whatsapp.

The Trust also engaged its over 500,000 social media followers (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube) and shared regular titbits about the Scheme reaching over 1,000,000 people daily.

Employers and associations interested in booking for public education can do so at any SSNIT branch. They could also send an email to [email protected] or call the Office of Corporate of Affairs on

024 243 5800.

Conclusion

Going forward, the Trust will soon launch a new and interactive website and roll out the SSNIT App to help make its services easily accessible to Members and stakeholders. With the enthusiasm of its employees and support of stakeholders, the Trust is well on its way to become a stronger, sustainable and thriving business that is in tune with its core mandate and stakeholder needs.

About SSNIT

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a statutory public Trust charged under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766)  with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Scheme. As the operator of the First Tier of the Three-Tier Pension Scheme, it replaces part of lost income of workers in Ghana due to Old Age, Invalidity or Death of a member where lump sum payment is made to nominated dependants. The Trust is also responsible for the payment of Emigration benefit to a non-Ghanaian member who is leaving Ghana permanently.

The Pension Scheme as administered by SSNIT has an active membership of over 1.6 million.

Currently, SSNIT pays GHS244 million to over 230,000 pensioners every month.

For further information, please call SSNIT on 0302 611 622, toll free number 0800 1100 94 or WhatApp/SMS 0500 003 050. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @SSNITghana. Visit us on www.ssnit.org.gh

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