President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Parliament to pass the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Bill before end of the year as he has assented to the new Companies Act which was passed in May, 2019.
“As we celebrate passage of the new Companies Act, let us remind ourselves that more needs to be done to complete the business reform agenda of our country. Its companion bill, the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Bill, is currently before Parliament and undergoing review by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
“I am hopeful that the process of statutory enactment for this urgently needed bill will be completed by end of this year. It will among others provide the avenue to help resuscitate distressed but viable businesses, entities and establishments from liquidation and its ramifications,” he said.
Speaking at the maiden Ghana Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors (GARIA) Presidential Fundraising and Awards Night in Accra, President Akufo-Addo noted that as part of his government’s programme for improving the ease of doing business in Ghana, Parliament passed a new Companies Act on May 2, 2019 – replacing the 1963 Act.
The GARIA is an association of practitioners and other persons with an interest in restructuring and insolvency that play a leadership role in corporate restructuring, business recovery and insolvency in Ghana.
“We now have the Companies Act, 2019, to which I assented on August 2, 2019. I am confident that this new act will improve significantly the ease of doing business in Ghana, since it has a corporate regulatory and governance framework and reduces the cost of ensuring compliance for business,” he said to applause.
He also reiterated that Ghana continues to be a haven of peace, security and stability, and is indeed the safest country in West Africa – where legitimate investments are protected. This enviable position, he added, led to Ghana being selected by the African Union as host of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) Secretariat.
Launch of GARIA Trust Fund
The night also saw the president launch the GARIA Trust Fund, which will serve as the vehicle to mobilise resources to support operations of GARIA. Mr. Akufo-Addo contributed GH¢50,000 toward the fund.
“It is with great pleasure that I launch the GARIA Trust Fund. The fund is designed to be the principled financing vehicle for GARIA, and will be managed by an independent board of trustees who possess diverse expertise in accounting, banking, law, business and investment. I am personally donating GH¢50,000 to the fund,” he said.
The president assured that he will be asking the ministries of finance, trade and industry and business development to see to what extent they can properly assist the fund. He also called on all private sector players to demonstrate their commitment to contributing their quota in the transformation of the Ghanaian economy, because creating wealth and prosperity for the people is a shared responsibility.
“It has been a long journey in getting the new Companies Act passed, and I invite you all to seize the opportunities presented by the enhanced enabling environment being created by government, and play your part in building a strong and robust business environment to realise the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“A Ghana that is self-reliant, self-confident and capable of generating a dignified decent standard of living within a body politic that is respectful of the rule of law, individual liberties of human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability,” he added.
A member of GARIA and Chairman of the occasion, Professor Justice S.K. Date-Bah, said the association’s objective is to foster a rescue culture in the Ghanaian corporate entity. He explained that if a company becomes distressed, the first option should not be to liquidate it but rather restructure it to succeed.
Therefore, he said, GARIA can perform a valuable role in the development of the private sector in the country. He also called on government to, as a matter of urgency, ensure that Ghana ratifies the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, which was signed in Vienna during 1980.