…listing on the stock market in the offing
The Minister for Public Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe, has said that for the first time in history, about 50 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been able to compile and present an audited report reliable enough to access their performance, a situation he described as remarkable.
He indicated that from about only 17 SOEs being able to produce a report in 2017 out of a total of 128, now about 50 have done that successfully. However, the minister admitted that there is more work to be done and the secretariat is leaving no stone unturned to achieve its outcome.
Additionally, some SOEs that were consistently making losses have made profits for the first time and declared a dividend, a reason why he said the secretariat is in engagement with the government to get some SOEs listed on the stock market for the public to partake and benefit.
According to the minister, measures implemented since the establishment of the Public Enterprise Secretariat with the aim of transforming the SOEs from loss-making entities to dividend payment entities are gradually yielding results but logistical constraints for the secretariat and lack of capacity on the part of some of the SOEs are major challenges.
“We are committed to the transformation of SOEs from loss-making to profit-makers, and so we have initiated several reformative measures to support capacity-building and digitalisation of operations to reduce workload and slow pace of production which usually causes inefficiencies. We are working to provide an opportunity for Ghanaians to participate in owning parts of selected state-owned enterprises that are doing well. It is the intention of the government to list qualifying SOEs on the Ghana Stock Exchange,” he said.
He mentioned that the performance contract signing initiative introduced by the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) has been leveraged to initiate the Public Enterprises League Table (PELT) to introduce competition and provide a standard for highlighting performances.
Chief Director of the Public Enterprise Secretariat (PES), Christina Edmund, emphasised that the PES has collaborated with other stakeholders to develop the state ownership policy, drafted the code of corporate governance for all state enterprises (SEs), trained board secretaries of SEs, and organised capacity-building workshops, among others initiatives, with the focus of making them productive.
Gov’t to dispose of collapsed SOEs
The minister indicated that some key SOEs in the 1960s and 70s that have collapsed or become defunct over time are still in the books of the government; meanwhile, the state has no use for them, hence, the need to dispose of them. “The verification of these assets has been undertaken and it is time to dispose of them to stop the unproductive costs we incur to keep these defunct assets. We intend to request Cabinet approval for this effect,” he said.