By Frank Amponsah
President Akufo Addo has indicated that there is no reasons why companies which were established under the State Interests & Governance Authority (SIGA) Act 2019 (Act 990) in June 2019 would be found wanting in the discharge of its mandate.
According to him, the management and board members of the newly created State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) must ensure the efficient and profitable management of State Owned Enterprises (SOE), Joint Venture Companies (JVC) and Other State Entities (OSEs), that have been placed under their direct supervision with the repeal of the law that established both the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) and the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) as the previous regulators.
The President was speaking at the launch of the State Interest and Governance Authority as part of the 2019 Policy and Governance Forum at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel, in Accra.
He averred that board members of SIGA need to up their games to ensure that the institutions under them live up to their mandate.
SIGA was established 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which established both the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) and the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) are repealed; with their assets and liabilities transferred to the new entity.
With this development, President Akufo-Addo indicated that, “It simply means that SIGA will now be performing the functions of the two defunct entities.
He added that” Beyond that, there are some additional powers that have been conferred on SIGA under the new Act” to ensure their effectiveness.
The President also indicated that the New Act has made provisions to ensure that they are accountable for the positions they hold, stressing that “Another critical provision under Section 7 of the new Act ensures that the days when board members and corporate executives flout rules and regulations and are left off the hook are over. As per the act, a member of the board who contravenes subsection 1 or 2, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 3,000 penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years and not more than 10 years or to both. The fore going is a strong indication of the extent to which the barometer of corporate governance and executive decision making has been lifted.”
On his part, the Minister for Planning, Professor Gyan Baffour, indicated that many of the SOEs have not been able to submit their audited financials.
He added that over the last two years, government has engaged the SOEs for them to submit same but to no avail. Government he says is hopeful that with the introduction of the SIGA, SOEs and JVCs will be better managed and regulated to ensure their efficiency.