The Director-General of the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has hinted that SIGA will in the coming days recommend about ten state-owned enterprises to be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) market.
According to Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, this forms part of government’s plans to explore available opportunities to help improve efficiency and performance of SOEs.
“The State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) is exploring various strategies including divestiture, joint-ventureship, among others to enhance the efficiency of performing SOEs and to revive the struggling ones”.Stephen Asamoah-Boateng
Moreover, SIGA has tabled a list of enterprises to be considered in the first batch of SOEs that will be listed. The Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) is one of such enterprises. The CBG was formed out of seven banks that the Central Bank dissolved during the financial sector clean up.
In addition, the other ones to be considered include the biggest cement producers in the country – Ghacem Ghana. Others include Ghana Gas Company, Twifo Oil Palm Plantation, TDC Development Company, and Ghana Rubber Products.
Meanwhile, Mr Asamoah-Boateng indicated that SIGA will in the coming days, submit a proposal to the Ministry of Public Enterprises. The Ministry will then forward it to Cabinet for approval.
The Director-General further appealed to prospective local investors who might be interest in acquiring some ownership stake in these SOEs to make funds available.
“Indigenous investors interested in ownership of State-Owned Enterprises should make funds available”.Stephen Asamoah-Boateng
Furthermore, the Director-General bemoaned the high budgetary allocation for the State Owned Enterprises. As a result, he urged state-owned enterprises to as a matter of urgency cut down on all unnecessary expenditures. This, he believes, will to some extent help the SOEs safeguard their investments whilst improving efficiency.
However, the Public Enterprise Minister, Mr Joseph Cudjoe, in an interview, highlighted the government’s commitment to reviving viable SOEs. These are SOEs whose operations have been hampered by debt, lack of financing and poor corporate governance practices.
Also, the minister indicated that the government’s intention for reviving SOEs is to help create employment for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
“We seek to leverage on the capital market to improve the productivity of SOEs and create jobs while safeguarding the state’s investment”.Mr Joseph Cudjoe
SOEs Making Loses
Meanwhile, the minister has expressed his dissatisfaction about the government’s continues investment in SOEs who are mostly running at a lost. Most of these SOEs have been making loses over the past years, but could not be closed down due to employment losses and the essential service they provide.
“A lot of state resources had been invested in Specified Entities which includes the SOEs and regulatory firms, but those investments had not yielded the expected results in terms of performance, output and outlet”.Mr. Joseph Cudjoe
The move by the government, if successful, will help revive SOEs to make them continue to play their intended roles. The 2018 SOEs report show that most of these enterprises have been running into losses. Continues investment in these enterprises will be a waste of government resources.