You will bear the Brunt of the Law President to Board, Management of SOEs

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has served notice to board members and corporate executives of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) who flouts the rules and regulations of the institutions would bear the brunt of the law.

The President said the Board and management of SOEs and other state entities who openly disregard the corporate governance rules and regulations with impunity would no longer go unpunished. 

“The days where board members and corporate executives flout rules and regulation and are left off the hook are over,” the President said when he launched in Accra on Monday the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA). 

The SIGA had assumed the responsibilities of both the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) and the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC). It is expected to ensure the efficiency and financial viability of SOEs and help them deliver on their mandate.

All the assets and liabilities of the defunct SEC and the DIC, however, had been transferred to the SIGA. 

President Akufo-Addo said the law that established SIGA, (Act 990), had empowered the body to prosecute board members and corporate executives who break or sidestep corporate governance regulations. 

Those who violate the law could face a jail term of not less than 5 years and up to 10 years, he stated, adding, “This is a strong indication of the extent to which the barometer of corporate governance and executive decision making has been lifted.”

The President said though the SIGA was not the panacea to all the challenges faced by SOEs, the institution would manage state assets in a more financially sustainable manner and provide better returns on investments on SOE's, Joint Venture Companies and other State enterprises. 

The Authority, established due to the negative returns on state owned companies and corporate governance challenges, would be responsible for assisting the finance ministry to assess the borrowing levels of the state owned enterprises and other state enterprises in accordance with the relevant financial laws.

SIGA would also ensure that the various state owned enterprises, joint venture companies and other state enterprises pay the dividends due to the state. 

Pointing out that state owned companies were established in the past to creating employment opportunities and produce goods and services to citizens, the President said most of the SOE's and joint venture companies had sustained losses and become highly indebted and on the verge of collapse. 

As a result of systemic internal failures, the majority of the companies had been unable to pay dividends to the state, while others were relying on the government bailouts.

Currently, the government holds equity interest in 103 enterprises, including joint venture companies in key sectors of the economy.
Mr. Terry Darko, former President of the Ghana Employers’ Association chairs the SIGA, while Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng has been appointed the Director-General of the Authority.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)

Created: 23 August 2019
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