President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has challenged state owned enterprises (SOEs) operating under the umbrella organization, State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), to make profit and the efficient running their institutions the ultimate goal of every SOE in the country.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of performance contracts between SOEs and SIGA under the theme; “Driving the implementation of performance enhancement measures in SOEs, JVCs and other State entities” at the Movenpick Ambassador hotel today the 26th of July 2021, President Akufo-Addo said the five (5) thematic areas of focus for the performance contract between SOEs and the SIGA, which are; streamlining government oversight of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) sector, piloting corporate governance improvements, Government lending policy, credit risk assessment for State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and rationalizing compensation and salary disparities, should motivate all SOEs in the country to transform their respective institutions into gainful entities.
“The task is therefore for you to operate profitably and efficiently and by so doing expand your scope of operations so that you can employ many more people. I am hopeful that by the end of each fiscal year, every specified entity that has signed this compact with government, will be able to achieve these objectives” President Akufo-Addo said.
*Profits and Dividends*
The President noted with gratitude that regardless of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the country’s economy, some SOEs are set to post profits. Some according to the President will also be in the position to pay dividend to the State for the first time in their history.
“If we can do this continually for five years, imagine number of lives that would be impacted. I am encouraged to hear that most of your entities would be posting profits this year and happier to learn that some would finally pay dividend to the State” President Akufo-Addo said.
In his address, the President charged all who are involved in the operations of SIGA to put their ideals and ideas, experience and expertise together and work as a team.
“The Ghanaian people expect no less from us and demand that we put this country on the path of sustained progress and prosperity. We should provide leadership and think of the next generation and not just the next election” the President noted.
“Challenges exist but we have great opportunities in the foundation we have laid to. With your commitment and determination, I believe we will overcome them and enable this government to establish the structure of the strongest economy in our history” Akufo-Addo added.
On COVID-19 and the recent rise in infections, the President reiterated the call he made in his 26th address to the nation, yesterday the 25th of July 2021, charging all institutions to ensure that they go back to the strict adherence to all existing and recommended protocols to help stop the spread in office spaces.
“I want to repeat my admonitions and insist on the imperative of all of us paying strict attention to the adherence of the COVID protocols in our work places and elsewhere if we are to defect the virus and sustain the vitality of our economy” President Akufo-Addo stated.
SIGA is the acronym of a body corporate established with the passage of the State Interests & Governance Authority Act 2019 (Act 990) in June 2019; with the mandate to oversee and administer the state’s interests in state-owned enterprises, joint venture companies and other state entities and to provide for related matters. With the presidential assent of SIGA given on 7th June, 2019, the laws which established both the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) and the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) are repealed; with their assets and liabilities transferred to the new entity.
Rationale Behind SIGA
SIGA is designed to provide a far better ownership and governance framework for SOEs, JVCs, OSEs than previously existed. This is to increase shareholder value and better returns on investment; provide better coordination among state entities (commercial and non-commercial) and other stakeholders, enhance the capacity of heads and employees to deliver on their core mandate in the changing environment and to give customer and consumer satisfaction.