Minister charges Boards to align investment in SMEs

Business News of Monday, 9 October 2017



Deputy Finance Minister, Mrs. Abena Osei-Asare

The reconstituted Governing Board of the Venture Capital Trust Fund was on Monday inaugurated, with a charge on members to align its investment in least 100 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) over the medium term and expand the existing SMEs to help maximize economic growth and reduce unemployment.

The nine-member Board is chaired by Mr. Kofi Owusu Sekyere, with Mr. Yaw Owusu-Brempong; Mr. Fusieni Issah, the Member of Parliament for Okaikwei North constituency; Madam Efua Asabea Aare and Mr. Peterson Ekow Afedzie as members.

The others are Dr. John Kofi Mensah, Mr. Franklin Owusu Asafo Adjei, Mr. Brian Frimpong and Mrs. Efua Apenteng.

Mrs Abena Osei Asare, the Deputy Minister of Finance, who administered the official oath said: “Over time, various management issues have been cited in the Auditor General’s report from wrongful payments of millions of dollars, wrongful acquisition of a property, gratuity payment to board without approval, granting huge loans without due diligence and others.

“You and your team are also to ensure that there is transparency in your operations and investment decision”.

Mrs. Osei Asare charged the Board to focus on their mandate, clean up its image and also strengthen the capacity of the management and staff to be more innovative.

“I will like to draw the attention of the Board to the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (ACT 921) as you exercise your oversight responsibilities,” she said.

The Deputy Minister of Finance noted that the PFM Act, in section 90, mandated the board of State-Owned Enterprises to establish and maintain policies, procedures, risk management and internal control systems and governance and management practices that would ensure that the organization manages its resources prudently and operates effectively to achieve its objects.

She called for a cordial relationship between the board and management of the Venture Capital Trust Fund and within the sector.

Mr. Kofi Owusu Sekyere, the new Chair of the Venture Capital Trust Fund Board, thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the opportunity to serve the country and pledged the Board’s commitment to work hard to adequately resource and empower the SMEs.

He said the SMEs are a prerequisite to unlock the country’s fortune in national development at this critical period of the country’s growth, and since it was widely upheld that a healthy and buoyant private sector could salvage the economy, the charge was in the right direction.

”As evidently proven in developed economies, SMEs are the indisputable engines of growth, needless to say, that apart from propelling the national economy in the right direction, the empowerment of SMEs and private sector ventures fall squarely in line with the government’s vision of One District, One Factory and is a sure way of generating employment and, by and large, of upgrading the quality of life of our people,” he said.

“It is this challenge that I and my good colleagues on this Board will set out from today to rectify and work to enable our SMEs to play a crucial in the growth and development agenda of our dear country.

“I trust that with dedication, commitment, and integrity, we shall make a significant difference in the administration of the fund, going forward,” he said.

Venture Capital Trust Fund was set up through an Act of Parliament with the aim of developing the Venture Capital and Private Equity in Ghana to provide long-term funding to SMEs and support the growth of the private sector for economic growth.

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