Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah-Dame, has lauded the cooperation of the Office of the Registrar of Companies with the government in its effort to root out corruption in the system.
He said the passage of the new Companies Act 992 of 2019 had also helped to reduce the creation of shell companies and opaque financial systems, which provided an opportunity for money laundering and concealment of illicit wealth.
“I am of the firm conviction that, effectively managed, the Registrar of Companies can indeed be a strong partner for the government in the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance in the country.”
“…the duty to provide particulars of beneficial owners under section 13 of Act 992 together with other provisions, including the ones alluded to… provide a strong tool to aid in the fight against corruption, money laundering and ultimately, boost investor confidence in the Ghanaian economy.”
Mr Yeboah-Dame was speaking at the inauguration and swearing-in of members of the governing board of the Office of the Registrar of Companies in Accra.
The establishment of the governing body of the Office of the Registrar of Companies is one of the innovations of the new Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992).
The Office of the Registrar of Companies is vested with the important object of registering and regulating all types of businesses in Ghana as well as registering business names, partnerships and professional bodies in accordance with enabling statutes.
It is also required to appoint inspectors, a receiver or manager to ensure effective compliance with Act 992, discharge duties and perform functions of the Official Liquidator under the Bodies Corporate (Official Liquidations) Act, 1963, Act 180 and also manage the finances and fixed assets of the Office of the Registrar.
Mr Yeboah-Dame also stated that the development of the Registrar of Companies over the years and the broad array of functions thrust on the Office by Act 992 enjoined the relocation of the physical premises from which the office operated.
He said the office accommodation had become too small and unfit for the attainment of the objects of the Office.
He said the Ministry had assisted the Office of the Registrar of Companies to acquire a two-acre land at the University of Ghana for the construction of a new office for US$3.5 million.
He explained that the Land Lease Committee set up by the University of Ghana, owners of the land, had agreed to the payment of US$1.5million as a deposit towards the acquisition, which has been done.
Mr Yeboah-Dame also clarified that having regard to the capacity of the Registrar of Companies to rake in substantial internally generated funds, the time had come for the Office to be financially independent of government.
He said section 352 of Act 992 required the Office to be financially autonomous.
The sources of funds of the Office have been stated by section 364 of Act 994 to include monies approved by Parliament, fees accruing to the office in respect of services recorded by the Office.