Story by Carlos Afanou

Professor Philip Ekow Bondzie-Simpson, the Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has advised civil servants to be proactive in governance and in signing onto pension schemes.

He said the support of the Civil Service to ensure the effective implementation of government policies and the preparation of members towards retirement, would go a long way to secure their future.

“Civil Servants must support the government’s agenda in a professional nonpartisan way. That partnership is not a political business but a technical one,” he said, adding that, the private sector, which served as an engine of growth, needed a public sector push to drive the desired growth.

Prof. Bondzie-Simpson was speaking at a Public Lecture, organised by the Office of the Head of Civil Service in Accra, on the theme: “Civil Service and Private Sector Synergy: A National Development Imperative,” as part of outlined programmes to celebrate the 2020 Civil Service Week.

He asked civil servants to plan towards achieving their goals and contributing towards national development, saying: “Failure to plan is planning to fail.”

He said there had been political interferences since independence in the operations of the Civil Service and cautioned the Service to be mindful of the calibre of persons it employed and ensure they worked in accordance to international standards, best practices, and ethics among others.

“The right people must be employed and progression must be structured, and earned on competence and not based on favour or long service,” he advised.

Prof. Bondzie-Simpson also called for equality in remuneration and service benefits to avoid the situation where civil servants would lobby for movement from one sector to the other parity of esteem.

He asked the Service to partner pro-business ministries, departments and agencies like the ministries of Finance and Business Development, the Registrar General’s Department, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and National Board for Small Scale Industries to promote a stronger synergy with the private sector and advance businesses growth.

Prof. Bondzie-Simpson suggested that the Service initiated a quarterly round-table conference to enable policy makers, bureaucrats, industry players and academia to discuss how to promote its activities and enhance growth of businesses and the nation as a whole.

Professor Emmanuel Osei Asiamah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hedge Pensions Trust, speaking on “Managing Tier 2 and Tier 3 Pensions: The Hedge Pensions Trust in Focus,” explained that the Tier two had two types of schemes – Employer Sponsor and Master Trust schemes.

The Tier three, on the other hand, is voluntary like the Provident Fund and Personal Pension Scheme.

Prof. Asiamah said the Tier 1, manned by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) was mandatory and based on one’s basic salary.

The minimum age to become a contributor to the Scheme is 15 years with the maximum age being 45.

He explained that the Tier 2 guaranteed a lump sum payment to the contributor, but when the person died before attaining age 75, the contribution was paid to survivors, adding that if he or she died at 75 or above, nothing would be paid to survivors.

Moreover, if one could contribute 35 per cent of income towards retirement, then that would be tax-free, according to the Law, he noted.

Prof. Asiamah said the Hedge Pensions Trust, which had 496 individuals on retirement, had paid packages to Civil Servants, and advised them to plan well towards their retirement, while being cautious of the retirement packages available.

Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief of Staff, who chaired the lecture, reiterated the need for the private and public sectors to create a synergy in order to identify potential areas of growth.

She said the private sector played a pivotal role in promoting economic development and that the synergy would establish a greater force to overcome obstacles and ensure national survival.

She commended the Civil Service staff and private sector workers for exercising diligence in discharging their duties even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and help government to manage the disease. Seven armed robbers jailed 175 years.

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