The value of Ghana’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) is GHS 110 billion, representing approximately 27 per cent of the nation’s 2020 gross domestic product (GDP), Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, has said.
He noted that it was in the national interests of Ghanaians to ensure that the entities were managed prudently because a 10 per cent return on the assets could generate eleven billion to the national coffers and the Enterprises could be employing more than 700,000 in the public and civil service.
Mr Ofori-Atta said this at the signing ceremony of the 2021 Performance Contract agreement between the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) and 71 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Joint Venture Capitals (JVCs), and other state entities in Accra.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was the special guest of honour at the event.
The event was on the theme, “Driving Implementation of Performance Enhancement Measures in SOEs and Public Corporations.”
Mr Ofori-Atta said there was the need for the Government to improve public service outcomes while achieving the requisite fiscal consolidation to help the economy grow.
“Within this context, we have already engaged extensively and have developed a comprehensive policy on State Ownership, which is currently going before Cabinet for consideration,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Enterprises remained committed to partnering with SIGA to achieve the President’s vision for the State Enterprises that were profitable and vibrant.
“Government must change for the new era- and change for good. Overseeing our economic restoration demands that we do things differently and better, guided by a core belief in economic efficiency and decent public services to promote a profound sense of dignity across our people,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He encouraged the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Director-Generals (DGs) of the SOEs to hold themselves to higher standards of excellence, financial discipline, and accountability.
“Ultimately, we will all be judged on how we have leveraged our positions and institutions to promote the socio-economic development of our people,” he said.
The Finance Minister, who quoted Voltare as saying “We are all guilty of the good we do not do”, said, “So CEOs and DGs, do the good you are supposed to do, propel a Ghana beyond aid and be the strongest strategic partner to Obaatanpa for the transformation of our economy.”
“This is your great task, your great challenge, and your great commitment,” Mr Ofori-Atta, added.
Mr Joseph Cudjoe, the Minister of Public Enterprises, said, “Today, most of our State-Owned Enterprises, which have been set up for commercial purposes, are largely characterized by high indebtedness and loss-making operations,” but, “Working collaboratively with the various Sector Ministers and using the Annual Performance Contracts as an effective tool, we can put a handle on these problems to solve them.”
Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Director-General, SIGA, said efforts to actualise the SIGA Act had not been very smooth, however, from last year, a lot had been achieved, especially judging by the number of state entities now taking part in the performance contract signing agreement.