Stephen Asamoah Boateng An intense new focus on state-owned enterprises by government through its recently established State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) last week culminated in the announcement of efforts, in consultation with relevant stakeholders to develop a “Good Corporate Governance Code” for State Owned Enterprises. This new initiative suggests that the transformation of the erstwhile State Enterprises Commission into SIGA a couple of years ago goes far beyond a mere change of institutional name.
Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Director-General of SIGA, said inadequate governance frameworks and procedures were critical contributors to many specified entities’ poor financial performance in Ghana hence the initiative.
Last week a stakeholders’ consultation forum on the Draft Code of Corporate Governance for SOEs which has been drawn up under the auspices of SIGA, was held in Accra. The draft Code has been designed to strengthen good corporate governance practices for SOEs in order to improve the way they are managed and ultimately how they perform with regards to both impact and finances.
However Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Director-General of SIGA, was given a rude awakening to the sheer size of the challenge he is seeking to overcome – barely one third of the chief executives of the SOEs, whose inputs are being sought into the Code, failed to even turn up for the workshop, although since the event was streamed live, they had an excuse of sorts. But an anggry Asamoah Boateng, asserting that the sheer importance of the event demanded their physical attendance, consequently publicly warned that CEO s who show a lack of commitment to their corporate governance responsibilities would lose their jobs.
But the impunity with which some SOEs are run clearly illustrates the underlying management difficulties they face – in many cases board appointments, including those of the managing director are seen as rewards for past political support or bribes for anticipated political support going forward. The resultant lack of regard for duly constituted supervisory authority subsequently seeps downwards from the Board and top management.
This is, in part, the situation which Asamoah Boateng wants to correct, pointing out that inadequate governance frameworks and procedures are critical contributors to many SOEs ultimate poor financial performance in Ghana hence the initiative.
Last week’s forum was meant to provide a platform for stakeholders to offer feedback and input into the Draft Code, but the failure to attend it by the majority of the CEOs shows a […]