Build culture of accountable governance in SOEs

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the new governing board of the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) to streamline the activities and practices of State-Owned  Enterprises (SoE’s) to make them profitable to the nation.

He said the Board should not be bound by the old ways of its predecessors but help develop a new culture of accountability to enable State-owned enterprises, Joint Venture Companies and other state entities give value to the country.

The President made the call when he inaugurated the nine-member SIGA Governing Board at the Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday.

Chaired by Mr Terrence Darko, the Board includes Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Director General of SIGA, Kow Essuman, Representative from the Office of the President, David Collison,  a representative nominated by the Ministry of Finance, and Franklin Owusu Asafo Adjei, a representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana.

The others are Felix Intrakwah, a representative of the Ghana Bar Association, and three persons nominated by President Akufo-Addo, including Elikem Kunyehia, Miss Yasmin Baba, and Dr. Margaret Duah Atuahene.

Launched on August 19, 2019, SIGA which assumed the role of the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) and the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC), would ensure the efficiency and financial viability of SOE’s and help them deliver on their mandate. All the assets and liabilities of the defunct SEC and the DIC had been transferred to the SIGA.

President Akufo-Addo told the board members “SIGA is a new institution and my expectation is that that you would help develop a new culture and should not be bound by the old culture and practices of the its predecessors.”

“It is a general agreement that these old institutions did not work in the interest of our people and our country and that is the reason why a new authority has been brought into being.

“So, the attitude must be new king new law, a new authority a new culture, a culture of accountable governance and of respecting the norms, sensibilities and practice of good corporate governance not only amongst yourself but almost the institutions that report to you, ” he stated.

Noting the importance of SoE’s  to the overall business and economic architecture of the country, the President said it was time those institutions  gave value to and a played  productive role in the development of Ghana’s economy.

“God knows enough of public resources of our country have been sunk into these institutions so far, we have had very little dividend from them.

“Whatever have been the problems in the past, all of those have been swept away by Statute to create this new body and it is expected that you work in such a way that this new body will be able to make a positive impact on the growth of the national economy.

“We expecting very high standards from you people on the board including the chairman and other members… all very bespoke and significant members of our society.. very good credentials. So, a lot of hope is being placed on your performance and your attitudes.

President Akufo-Addo was confident that the members of the Board had what it took to bring a special bearing to the work of the Authority.

“We are looking at you to be able to straighten things out and make sure that we get the dividends we are seeking,” the President said.

Felix Intrakwah who spoke for the board assured that the body would live up to the challenge of the task given them and would work to ensure the desired change.

The Board will be under the direct supervision of the Office of the President.

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