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SSNIT App to be game changer in service delivery

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
• Mr Charles Benoni Okine (left), Assistant Editor, Graphic Business, interviewing Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang (right), Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

Mobile applications have become the in-thing today. It is for this reason many companies build their mobile applications to expand their business and unlock new markets they seldom reach.

Considering the time we are in, particularly this COVID era, the digital age is quickly enabling users to adopt new technology as businesses catch up with it and look for new ways to offer their services.

The importance of mobile app development for business is evident today as more and more users are looking to get things done virtually. On the other hand, businesses too are changing the way they function. They understand the benefits of mobile apps for businesses and provide an easy way for end-users to instantly access company details and simultaneously keep them connected to their favourite brand and stay up to date.

It is against this background that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has undertaken a number of major initiatives geared towards making the services of the Trust readily accessible from any location, much faster and easier to use.

Key among the initiatives is the development of a customised application for the Trust which, once downloaded, will allow its clients, existing and potential, to access any information about SSNIT, make payments or receive their pensions through an integrated system where mobile money usage will be adopted.

To be launched by the middle of the year, it is also intended to make easy for the players in the informal sector, an untapped area, which usually feel reluctant to visit the offices of SSNIT to make enquiries about how to join the scheme because of the nature of their business, to do so without any hustle.

In an interview with the Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang,he told the Daily Graphic in Accra last Wednesday that “SSNIT will also launch a new website and the long-awaited SSNIT app which will bring its services closer to members and clients using the mobile phone,”

The interview focused on updates on how the Trust was working to leverage technology to ensure that its services become more accessible to the people, easier and fast to encourage more contributors to join the scheme without having to visit the offices of the Trust.

Informal sector

Shedding more light on the benefit of the SSNIT App to the size of contributors to the scheme, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the informal sector players were many with a large number earning far more than those in the public sector.

“They do not contribute to our scheme because in the first place it is voluntary. However, we know most of them would want to enrol but do not have the time to move from one office to another to do it because of the nature of their business or it may also be issues around traffic among other things,” he said.

Size of contributors

The number of SSNIT contributors to the Tier One pension scheme rose from 1.2 million in 2016 to 1.63 million by end of November last year. It is ,therefore, expected that with the intended simplification of the processes and services to be rendered through the SSNIT app, the figure would increases more drastically.

“We are confident that this will help in our agenda to deepen and expand social security coverage. This, we will do using digital platforms and mass media. We ,therefore, invite you to come on board to help us execute this agenda,” he said.

Public education

In the area of public education to get many more people interested in the Tier One pension scheme and also in the SSNIT app as a game changer, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang, said the Trust intensified its public education by entering areas such as university campuses to educate the students on the Trust and its benefits to them in future when they retire.

He said this will be intensified across the country to ensure that negative perceptions about the scheme is completely demystified for eligible Ghanaians to freely volunteer and contribute to the scheme.

“The public affairs unit of SSNIT has been tasked to do that and we are highly optimistic that the results will be positive”, he said.