Accra, March 11, GNA – The State Enterprises Commission (SEC) would instill discipline in State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to help improve their financial status and reduce government funded debt burden.
Dr Camynta Baezie, SEC Executive Chairman, said there was the need for accountability from SOEs through the involvement of the Commission in selecting the right calibre of persons appointed to be chief executive officers and board members.
He said there was the urgent need for proper balancing of skills of appointed board members for effective and efficient conduct of board dynamics.
Dr Baezie said this on Wednesday in Accra during the signing of the 2015 Performance Contracts between SOEs and the Government.
‘In line with the Commission’s mandate of providing support for the SOEs to have sound management practices, we have enlisted the services of the Balanced Scorecard Institute to help us develop a performance evaluation framework for the monitoring of SOEs to achieve operational excellence,’ he said.
He said strengthening the Commission and providing professional boards for the SOEs were critical to improving SOEs performance and competitiveness, increasing financial discipline and access to new sources of capital.
Dr Baezie said there were 39 wholly-owned SOEs concentrated largely in critical sectors of the economy such as petroleum, power, water, housing, transport, agriculture, logistics, procurement, finance and infrastructure.
He said the SOEs were, therefore, critical to the management of the public finances and the public policy more broadly.
He noted that as at the end of 2014, the total labour force employed in 28 of the 39 SOEs were about 32,000; generating total revenue of about 14.10 billion Ghana cedis.
Dr Baezie said during the period, many of these SOEs underperformed compared to their own targets, while others were incurring losses.
‘The effect is high economic and financial costs, resulting in inefficient service delivery, wasted resources, financial losses and accumulation of debts. SOEs account for half of all public sector arrears,’ he said.
Mrs Mona Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance, advised boards and managements of SOEs to take up the challenge and come out with alternatives and innovative ways to turn their companies around.
She said the Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation System to which the SOEs subscribe emphasised fairness to the SOEs and to the nation.
She said the Government would ensure that all arrears with greater burden on the tax payer would be reduced to zero over the next two years.
Dr Abdul Rashid Pelpuo, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Public-Private Partnerships, urged boards and management to take their organisations to the next level.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Roads and Highways, said the only way the heads of the SOEs would leave lasting legacies was to transform their organisations into profitable ones.
Professor Pikay Richardson, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Manchester Business School, explained that it took tough management to transform organisations into profitable and viable ones.
He said for corporate success to be attained, it would require competence, the desire to achieve success and resources.
Among the heads of the various SOEs which signed the performance contract were Dr Bernard Otabil, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana News Agency and Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group.
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