“I love to see my customers treated with respect” -Jacinta Ntumy, SSNIT Benefits Officer says
If there is any staff in the formal sector who hears the phrase ‘God bless you’ more often than any other person on daily basis, then that probably is Jacinta Ntumy, an Assistant Benefits Officer with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in the Greater Accra Region.
I love to see my customers pampered, feel very important and treated with the respect they deserve because they are the reason I have been employed and that is where I also earn a living,” she said.
Based on some positive reactions from a large section of her clients, Ms Ntumy was engaged in an interview with The Spectator recently to share few thoughts with readers.
Ms Ntumy told this reporter that she joined SSNIT because as a graduate she wanted to work with a prestigious institution.
After a few weeks into her employment, she felt that she had been sent there to touch the lives of people and not just put food on her table.
“First of all, I expect the customer to feel welcomed and be treated with decorum, courtesy, love, respect and patience.”
“My responsibility is to make the customer feel at home even when he or she appears rude. I even see such bad-mannered attitudes as hazards of the job to deal with customers every day,” she said.
She sees the customer as a potential family member who is also capable of occupying her seat so she feels obliged to give them the deserved attention and reverence.
“As you may be aware, the slogan for SSNIT is, ‘we deliver on our promise.’ I therefore want to be the solution to my cherished customers by using the requisite communication expertise and competencies to resolve any problem that is brought to me,” she assured.
The ABO said aside trying to be a professional, her Christian doctrines make her understand that those she comes into contact with could be a blessing in disguise.
“Let me give you a scenario of how an aged pensioner walked in for my services. After giving all the assistance, they tell you ‘God bless you.’ These are my fathers and mothers, I feel I should treat them well to enjoy the blessings of God,” she said.
Her passion is to see widows who have received their late husbands’ benefits on time to cater for their needs and those of their children.
According to her, such people always tell her ‘God bless you’ and even promise to pray for her, which gives her a feeling of fulfilment and joy.
“I believe that these prayers go a long way to protect me and my family, so I am always encouraged to do my best with the help of God,” Ms Ntumy added.
Her greatest joy in working with SSNIT is to serve customers as a Benefits Officer and Investigator.
By her designation, she often deals with workers, retirees, pensioners, invalid persons, emigrants, bereaved families, widows among others.
“For the pensioners, sometimes I even go a step further to visit and interact with them at home, and interestingly that has also become my hobby. It is also an opportunity to learn from them,” she said.
She explained that Benefits Officer’s job description is to ensure that all claims applications were assembled and appropriate reports were written to ensure the person was paid on time because one of the goals of SSNIT was to replace part of lost incomes to those that are no more in active service.
For her, her background as a Development Communicator trained by the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) had equipped her well to ensure that issues that were not well understood were explained to customers.
“We recently introduced a new initiative dubbed SEED. This is an opportunity for all self-employed persons to join the scheme by making monthly contributions so that they could enjoy the benefits we sell.
“It gives me joy when I have to explain to the self-employed to contribute to the scheme by making monthly contributions to enjoy the benefits,” she said.
This gives her inexplicable satisfaction and a responsibility to also sell the message to people who are not well-informed of the processes, to bring to their attention the advantages and benefits of contributing to SSNIT.
Ms Ntumy had her basic education at Jacob’s Preparatory School at Abeka Lapaz in the Greater Accra Region and continued at the Ola Secondary School, Ho in the Volta Region.
She proceeded to the Ghana Institute of Journalism for her Diploma in Community Studies.
She also attended the University of Ghana for her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Linguistics with a First-Class Honours and returned to GIJ for a Master of Arts in Development Communication.
She has been married to Ebenezer Ayim, a Public Relations Person who is also a Pastor for nine years and they have three daughters namely Nhyira, Aseda and Ayeyi.
She admits that combining work and family life was challenging but was thankful to have a supportive husband who even single-handedly took care of the children when she was once transferred to another region.
“My husband played dual roles as a father and mother at the same time. I had to visit the family every weekend to prepare variety of dishes for the family.”
“I must confess it was stressful and the most challenging moment in our marital journey and the upbringing of our children,” she admitted.
However, with time she learnt how to manage her time well and ensured she had enough rest when she was less busy or when on leave.
Ms Ntumy enjoys cooking, engaging in house chores, spending time with her family, visiting pensioners and orphans, doing any work that involves research and engaging in church activities.
Her favourite food is light soup with dry fish and fufu.
The ABO said she was always encouraged by the Holy Bible to do right to all manner of persons without discriminating.
She is a native of Kpando in the Volta Region, born to John Ntumy, formerly of COCOBOD and Stella Acquah and the first of four children.
She advised the public to take advantage of the SSNIT initiatives to have a decent future after retirement.
From Dzifa Tetteh Tay
Pictures of Ms Jacinta Ntumy
Ms. Ntumy and her husband, Ebenezer Ayim whom she calls her best friend
Ms. Ntumy on one of her visits to the home of some Pensioners.