A renowned Ghanaian economist and business strategist, Professor Pikay Richardson, has urged the government to discard the practice of appointing unqualified political party supporters as chief executive officers (CEOs) or board members of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
He said such party followers believed that it was an opportunity for them to make personal gains instead of contributing their quota to the development of the companies.
“A lot of the party people think that it is their right. ‘Now that I am in, it is my chance to chop’, not necessarily a chance to make a difference,” Prof. Richardson said in an interview with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a corporate governance training workshop for board members and managers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in Accra last Wednesday.
The two-day workshop was organised by the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) to empower the board members and managers of the COCOBOD with the needed knowledge in corporate governance and leadership.
No political consideration
Prof. Richardson, who is a lecturer at the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom (UK), said people who ran SOEs must be competent, and that “one of the things we have to avoid is appointing people because they are our friends, and party people”.
Besides, he said, competent board members were crucial to help the CEO to run the companies successfully.
“Even if he is a party member, let us make sure that we pick a party member who has the skills to deliver for us. But a lot of the times, we just announce that so and so has been made a managing director of a state enterprise. But the question is; is so and so competent enough to run the SOE successfully?” he queried.
Prof. Richardson again expressed worry about the attitude of some board members.
“People do not attend board meetings and they think that is their time to also enjoy. They don’t make any contribution. Meanwhile, it costs the company to pay them, yet they don’t bring anything to the company,” he lamented.
Look for competencies
Prof. Richardson said some Ghanaians who did not have any party affiliations were competent and could help to turn the SOEs around.
He also said in the UK and elsewhere, even if the company was owned by the government, they still had a search team to look for competent people to run the companies.
He, therefore, suggested that anytime a CEO was retiring or leaving office, a search team should be constituted to advertise, interview and pick a new CEO.
“If they want to do it right, the results will be right; if they want to carry on party followership and so on, somebody related to me or the President’s wife, we will not get the results. The result of a company comes from those managing the company. Companies don’t do well by themselves,” he said.
State Enterprises Commission
The Executive Chairman of the SEC, Dr Camynta Baezie, said the workshops were part of efforts by the SEC to bring about transformation in corporate governance and leadership at the SOEs.
He also said the SEC would organise some training programmes for managers at the planning unit level of the SOEs.
Source: Daily Graphic
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