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Halt losses in state owned enterprises – Akufo-Addo to institutional heads

President Akufo-Addo has charged heads of State owned enterprises to bring an end to the culture of posting losses annually

President Akufo-Addo has charged heads of state institutions and specified entities in the country to do all within their mandates to stop the phenomenon of posting losses annually and to work towards become profitable institutions.

Losses posted by state enterprises and specified entities in the country between 2018 and 2019 rose by 200% percent according to the 2020 Auditor General’s report. The latest figure as at the year 2020, on losses by state institutions estimates 5.3 billion Ghana cedis.

In his statement at the 2022 edition of the Policy and Governance Forum, organized by the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), today 28 January 2022, President Akufo-Addo said government has put in measures to ensure the growth of the country’s economy and heads of state institutions under SIGA must do their part as well.

A cross-section of some heads of state owned enterprises at the forum

“At this time that government is doing its best to see to the rapid growth of the economy, we must bring the phenomenon of posting losses to an end”.

“The late reporting and submission of financial reports by specified entities leaves a lot to be desired and undermines the efforts of the Controller and Accountant General in the presentation of a global picture for Ghana’s public finances. We have to turn over a new leaf,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Speaking to the theme of the forum; “Improving the performance of Specified Entities: Leadership and Technology”, President Akufo-Addo indicated, “The task for all the heads of state institutions at the forum is to operate profitably and efficiently and by so doing, expand their scope of operations so that they can employ many more people. Your leadership to this end is crucial,” the President said.

Digital economy policy

Touching on his government’s digitalization agenda, the President observed that the Ministry of Communication and Digitalization will soon introduce a comprehensive digital economy policy and strategy that will guide the efforts of the country aimed at “leveraging digital technology for economic and social development as well as offer guidance for the financing, institutional strengthening and human capacity building that will be required to achieve the objectives of the policy”.

“I encourage you as heads of specified entities to send in your comments and suggestions and inputs for this process as principal stakeholders,” President Akufo-Addo said to attendees of the forum.

Directives to Specified Entities

In his address, the Deputy Minister for Finance, John Kumah noted, “It is regrettable that while specified entities especially the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) hold significant assets, their performance and effectiveness leaves much to be desired.

President Akufo-Addo with the Deputy Minister for Finance, John Kumah, the Director General of SIGA, Edward Boateng and the Minister for Public Enterprises

“As of end of December 2021, only 31 out of 51 SOE (51%), 22 out of the 89 OSEs (25%), and 22 out of 43 JVCs (51%), had submitted audited financial statements for the year 2020 to Finance Ministry,” Mr Kumah said.

To deal with the phenomenon, John Kumah announced that under the express instructions of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, “henceforth, the Finance Ministry will not consider any request for government support from any specified entities that fail to meet the reporting requirements specified in the PFM Act, PMF regulations and SIGA Act.

“Additionally, in consultation with the Minister for Public Enterprise, the Finance Minister has directed the Director General of SIGA to ensure that appropriate sanctions and penalties are applied for infractions of the PFM Act, PFM regulations and SIGA Act, including recommendations for removal of members of governing boards,” the Deputy Finance Minister informed.

Wilberforce Asare

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