Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Haruna Iddrisu has called on government to order a forensic audit on State-Owned Enterprises.
According to him, there are prevalent malfeasance in some of these government institutions which requires investigation.
Speaking in an interview, he explained most of these institutions may be liable to some level of debt and must be probed.
He averred that, the call for the audit forms part of measures to deep good governance. He also insisted it will ensure that state institutions and parastatals are held accountable.
The Majority Leader further revealed that, the minority will ensure that “state institutions are accountable beyond just mere handing over notes”.
Additionally, Mr. Iddrisu intimated that, President Akufo-Addo in December 2017, authorised a forensic report into state institution. This, he suggested, should be replicated in the minority’s request for a probe into the operations, activities and administrations of state institutions.
“Because as I’ve indicated, many of them are hiding their liabilities and other commitments”.
Malfeasance in SOEs
Further justifying his stance for the forensic audit, the Minority Leader noted that, investigation into these institutions will bring transparency on their operations.
“For instance, you had the Ministry for business development in its handing over notes where a liability of a matter even in court of up to five million dollars was unreported. It took us at the appointment committee and a perusal to be able to raise that.
“The level of indebtedness of many state institutions is just not acceptable. It means that there is very weakened balance sheet. We need to know where those entities stood as at December 2017 and where they are standing today in terms of their balanced sheet and financials”.
Mr. Iddrisu further revealed that, the Auditor General can’t be authorised to address the issue without the President’s explicit directive.
“The Auditor General can, but don’t forget that you can’t authorise him. You can ask the President to cause a forensic audit to be done.
“I smell some malfeasance. I smell some under-reporting or inaccurate reporting of obligations commitments and liabilities of those entities”.
Mr Iddrisu believes an audit of the SOEs’ activities will further reduce their level of indebtedness. This, he explained, are currently ‘unacceptable’ as it stands, per his assessment.
Reform State-owned enterprises
In February this year, President of IMANI Centre for Policy Education, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, called on government to reform State-Owned Enterprises.
According to him, government has re-echoed its decision to transform the country beyond aid. As a result, the country can transact viable businesses with other economies. He further revealed that they can equally do business with private entities to yield sustainable returns.
Mr. Cudjoe further intimated that, State Owned Enterprises can be strategic partners in the realisation of the new dream if managed properly. He averred that, the quasi-monopolistic nature of the SOEs, also gives them influence and makes them lucrative sources of patronage.
He also called for the periodical evaluation of SOEs to assess their efficiency to enable government select them for the public-private partnership.
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