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18 SOEs Record GH¢791 Million Losses — Veep   
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The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said 18 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) made combined losses of GH¢791 million last year, in addition to over GH¢13 million financial support and loans they contracted.

He, therefore, tasked managers of SOEs to pay attention to commercial viability, fiscal impact and corporate governance issues in order to find solutions to their challenges.

“As managers of SOEs, the challenges we continue to have over these debts must be at the back of your minds when executing contracts and making commitments with finances, and ultimately fiscal implications for the whole economy,” Dr Bawumia said last Tuesday.

He said while the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) provides for how financial and commercial transactions by state entities should be done with sanctions for non-compliance, “it is the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis that will have positive and/or negative impact economy-wide, and it is my expectation that this forum will address the PFMA as part of its deliberations,” the vice-president said.

Policy, governance forum

The vice-president said this at the opening of a two-day SOE Policy and Governance Forum in Accra to discuss challenges bedevilling those enterprises and propose ideas and suggestions that will enable them to deliver on their mandate.

The forum brought together chief executive officers (CEOs) of the SOEs, regulators, multinational partners, professionals from academia and civil society organisations.

Dr Bawumia said resuscitating the SOEs to contribute significantly towards economic transformation strategy remained high on the government’s agenda.

To this end, he said, the State Enterprises Commission and selected SOEs were benefiting from a World Bank Technical Assistant Programme focused on consolidating the state’s ownership role in SOEs into a single entity, improving performance and ensuring effective and efficient service delivery.

In addition, he said, there would be policies for the sectors within which the SOEs operated including ownership, board nominations and financing policies and some amendment of Acts establishing the SOEs.

This would incorporate corporate governance as well as list some SOEs onto the Ghana Stock Exchange and convert others into limited liability companies.

“It is my hope that you will take advantage of this forum to share with the government not your many challenges — which we all know — but your strategies for ensuring financial discipline, exploring access to new sources of capital, transparency and accountability, and improving commercial viability,” he said.

Finance minister

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, in an address, said the government intended to improve the governance environment among SOEs and engender high levels of transparency and accountability for the state enterprises.

The minister expressed the belief that feedback from the forum would not only be persuasive, but would contribute significantly to further refining and implementing the SOE reforms and strategies.
Source: Daily Graphic

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