Accra, 19th August, 2019 - Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the firm indication that the State Interest and Governance Authority would solve a number of the bottlenecks and challenges in doing business in the country.
This when fully operationalized with the inauguration of the Board of Directors would streamline the activities of all State Owned Enterprises, Joint Venture Capitals and other State Entities.
The President made this statement when he launched the State Interest and Governance Authority which had now replaced the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) and the Divesture Implementation Committee at the gathering made up of the World Bank Group Country Director, Captains of Industries, Chief Executive Officers of some state owned enterprises, the academia, politicians, civil servants and the media in Accra.
The SIGA bill which sought to address the issues of poor aggregate performance of State Own Enterprises, weak governance structure, low returns to government among others and brought them all under one authority was presented to Parliament on 30th May 2019 and assented by the President of the Republic of Ghana on 7th June, 2019.
“Unlike previous regimes, the current provisions in the act will ensure that activities of State-Owned Enterprises and Joint Venture Companies are monitored to ensure that aspects of their operations are streamlined.” Nana Akuffo Addo stated.
He added that, the State Enterprises Commission that was tasked to oversee the activities of these SOEs was saddled with its own institutional challenges leading to the collapse of a number of SOEs.
Apart from those on divestiture, the President revealed that the government had equity interest in 103 state enterprises in key sectors of the economy.
Nana Akuffo-Addo disclosed that the narrative of doing business in Ghana would change for the better because SIGA would work in partnership with other relevant state institutions.
According to the President, the law establishing SIGA had cloaked it with the responsibility to ensure the prosecution of board members and corporate executives who break or sidestep corporate governance regulations.
“This is a strong indication of the extent to which the barometer of corporate governance and executive decision making has been lifted” he said.
Mr. Pierre Frank Laporte, the new World Bank Group (WBG) Country Director to Ghana after congratulating Ghana for the successful launch of SIGA noted that, highly fragmented SOEs did not promote good governance and it was on this premise that the WBG in 2015 recommended the setting up of an umbrella body to oversee activities of all SOEs.
He acknowledged the enormous task by the Authority noting that management of some SOEs had over the years taken imprudent financial decisions leading to total loss of revenue and in most cases collapse of such entities.
The WBG, Mr. Laporte stated, supported the SIGA initiative likening it to International good practices that existed to reduce external interference in the activities of the SOEs and reiterated the Group’s commitment to supporting Ghana’s growth and development.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of SIGA, Hon. Stephen Asamoah Boateng also recapped the Authority’s resolve to reform the SOEs, JVCs and other State Entities in the Country.
According to him, it was important for the state to be involved in the interest and governance of certain businesses in the economy. This to him, would ensure their proper administration, sustainability and ability to pay their mandatory dividends to government.
The Acting CEO revealed that a Conflict Resolution Team had been set up to promptly address issues that may arise to ensure cordial working environment.
Mr. Asamoah Boateng challenged the CEOs of the various institutions to work tirelessly and in unity to ensure that the image of the SIGA is restored.
Dr. Kweku Afriyie, Minister of State at the office of the President appointed by the President to oversee the operations of SIGA noted that powers conferred on SIGA through the Act alone was not enough but expected to be resourced especially in its formative years.
“SIGA signifies dawn of a new era where companies would all be under single entities and so we must have a change of mindset if we are to succeed as a Authority” the MP for Sefwi Wiawso added.
The Ministry of Finance that had held all government shares in trust before the coming into effect of SIGA handed all documents to the leadership of Authority signifying the beginning of its operations. END