Tuesday, 4 November 2014

President Mahama Must Ask The NPRA To Address Issue Of Interest Earned On Funds In TPFA

President Mahama must ask the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA),  to immediately disclose to agitating public-sector workers, worried that their pensions are at risk, exactly how much interest has been earned on the treasury bills bought with funds in the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) - once the auditing by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is completed.

The NPRA must also be made to tell those selfsame workers when exactly the treasury bills were purchased - and what rates of interest have been earned on them. Nothing short of that will do. Hopefully, the PwC audit will make that information available, too.

The question of the quantum of interest earned is germane to the issue. The secrecy surrounding it, is the main reason why there is such widespread suspicion amongst workers that part of it has been siphoned off - and is the driving force behind public-sector workers' agitation over the tier-2 pension scheme.

Full disclosure of all pertinent facts, and proof of the TPFA's ecosystem's transparency, will see a quick resolution of that heart-of-the-matter issue, once and for all - and calm the nerves and assuage the fears of public-sector workers that somehow their pensions are at risk under the current regime.

The attitude of President Mahama in all this, must be that there will be no cover-up, and that if there has been any wrongdoing, no one, no matter how powerful and influential, will be shielded by his regime.

The powerful and influential individuals who are important in the system, have a moral obligation not to embarrass the president - and if they do,  must not expect to be 'rescued' by Ghana's President. That is not what Ghanaians elected him into office for.

On his part, President Mahama must be under no illusion - this TPFA  palaver could derail his presidency: if any attempt to hide any wrongdoing is made and it is traced back to the presidency.

President Mahama must make it absolutely clear to those powerful individuals in his inner circle, and within the National Democratic Congress, who habour greedy ambitions, that the days of impunity-for-the wealthy-and-powerful are over for good, in today's Ghana. He cannot protect them if they get into trouble - without getting into trouble himself. And it will be terminal: U.S. President Nixon-style.

Those currently in power in Ghana must let the fate that befell Blaise Campaore guide all their actions going forward.

If he cares about his legacy, and the judgement of history on his tenure as president, President Mahama must ask the NPRA to tell Ghanaians how much has been earned in interest from the TPFA funds used to purchase treasury bills - and when exactly those purchases began.

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