Ghana Agro Foods Company Limited (GAFCO) and the Gulf Consolidated Limited, subsidiaries of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), have presented cheques worth GH1.11million to the Trust for 2017.
The amount comprised of GH¢400,000 shareholders advance from GAFCO and GH¢712,509.84 dividend from Gulf Consolidated Limited. The payment from GAFCO was the first shareholder advance payment to SSNIT since the Trust bought a 40 per cent equity stake in the agro food company in 2005.
Professor Amoako Tuffour, Chairman of the Board of GAFCO, who presented the cheque during a press conference to announce the Pensions index on Tuesday, said the company was ready to take advantage of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme to do much better than it did in the past.
He said the Board recognized that in order to move forward, it was important for all its shareholders to feel that they are part of the ownership of the enterprise. “We are doing a lot of things and I can assure you that this is just the beginning of what GAFCO could do,” he said, adding that, the company had assets and wanted to make the best of them, with a little help from its shareholders.
Mr. Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, Chairman of the Board of Gulf Consolidated Limited, also presented a cheque of GHC712,509.84 to the Trust, as dividend for 2017. The amount was a 63.4 per cent increase over the 2016 figure of GHC451, 445.82.
He said the company had been consistent in the payment of dividends to SSNIT since 2009, with amount rising from about GHC 172, 987.08 to the current figure. He said the Company’s board had approved three major proposed projects on the 3.5 acres of undeveloped land at the Gulf House, its property.
The proposed projects are a three multi-story car park with two basements, two 12-story residential apartments and a ten-story office block, adding that, all the necessary building and development permits had been secured.
“The Board has taken a decision to fund these projects from loans and debts that will not dilute the shareholding of the company. We will be putting a formal proposal before you, inviting the Trust to help its own company to expand and make this project see the light of day,” he stated.
He assured SSNIT that the company would continue to work hard to remain profitable.
Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang, Director General of SSNIT, commended the companies for the payments, saying that, the Gulf Consolidated, in which the Trust acquired a 42 per cent stake in 1992, had been one of its consistent performers.
He noted that the presentations were the result of astute measures put in place by the Board and management of the Trust, including the appointment of professionals and experts to the Boards of its subsidiary companies.
He urged subsidiary companies of SSNIT to ‘step up to the plate’ as the Trust relied on the returns on its investments to make up for shortfall in revenues for pensions payments, since contributions were not enough.