President Akufo-Addo has charged the State Interests Governance Authority (SIGA) to enforce performance contract of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to the letter.
He tasked the Authority to continue to strengthen and enhance its performance management systems in order to have a firm grip on its jurisdiction.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of 2020 Policy and Governance Forum in Accra, said the enforcement of the performance contract was in accordance with government’s dream reflection on Ghana beyond Aid Charter on SOE’s.
The President’s speech was read by Mr. Kwadwo Allan Kyeremanteng, Minister of Trade and Industry.
The establishment of SIGA is traced to the State Enterprises Secretariat (SES) which was set up in 1965 and same had gone through institutional reforms aimed at addressing the challenges of SOE’s.
The forum themed: “SIGA: One year on; Achievements, Challenges and Prospects,’ attracted various heads of SOE’s in the country. SIGA has been given the mandate by the President of overseeing and administering State interest in Specified Entities.
President Akufo-Addo said 63 Specified Entities had signed their performance contracts in the year 2020 adding that last year 47 entities signed it.
“I strongly advise the other entities who are yet to come on board to do so on time. I also urged SIGA to speed up the development of the Legislative Instrument (Regulation)of Act 990 to resolve some teething problems.”
The President noted that collaboration between the Ministry of Finance and SIGA was imperative and tasked the Finance Ministry to support the authority with financial resources in order to execute its mandate as well as ensure that transfer of shares and other outstanding issues of SOE’s were finalized.
He was enthused that SIGA had put together a comprehensive Code of Corporate Governance which spelt out the basic principles and standards of corporate governance protocols to be observed by board members.
“This code will be strictly enforced and will be applicable to all Specified Entities.”
The President therefore urged the management of SIGA to subject the code to rigorous consultation, discussion and debate with experienced corporate governance experts and industry players before rolling it out.
“Continue to enhance the positive corporate image that SIGA has enviable earned for its self in this short space time,” he added.
He said the country was on a firm trajectory of fiscal stability, economic growth and prosperity and urged state entities to take advantage of achievement in macro –economic reform and efficient public financial management.
“This should act as a catalyst for the structural transformation of our economy.”
The President recalled that most state entities his government inherited in 2017 were not sound financially.
However, he observed that these entities had turned around their fortunes and were beginning to post profits, citing the Intercity STC as one of such entities.
“As we resolve to grow this country “beyond aid,” it is critical that our state Entities operate efficiently and profitably so that they can positively contribute to the country’s transformational agenda,” the President said.
Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of State in Charge of SIGA, said change did not only bring opportunity but risk that enjoined all to navigate.
He was happy SOE’s had now adopted “new normal in doing business in state agencies and same has also brought about the new normal of accountable and corporate governance.”
Dr Afriyie noted that the annual Performance Contract process since 2017 has witnessed an upward trend adding that 25 Specified Entities signed 2017 Performance Contract.
“This has increased by 40 per cent to (35) Entities in 2018 and further 34.3 per cent in 2019 to 47 Specified Entities.”
Dr. Afriyie said the 2021 Performance Contract Negotiation targeted 96 Specified Entities.
He said SIGA had carried out extensive tracking, identification and verification of Assets under the Divestiture programme as prescribed by the Transitional Provisions of Act 990.
“The Asset Verification has so far, identified and verified over 650 Assets (Factories, land and Residential Properties) nationwide under the Divestiture Programme. SIGA has secured the Assets with manned Security personnel,” he added.