The Public Enterprise (PE) will from May this year begin the implementation of a league table that will rank public enterprises in a bid to push them to become effective and efficient.
The initiative, dubbed: the Public Enterprise League Table, is meant to encourage non-performing state companies to sit up in order to become competitive comparable to those that have become profitable.



The Minister of Public Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe, who announced this at a meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday, said the league table would be published in May 2022 and would be used to applaud performing entities and encourage the non-performing ones to buck up.

Revenue and profit

Mr Cudjoe stated that the 177 state enterprises (SEs), including state-owned enterprises (SOEs), recorded a combined revenue of GH¢130 billion and total net profit of GH¢12 billion in the 2020 financial year.

“As we chastise non-performance in every enterprise, we have to also applaud the performance so that our evaluation of assessment and performance will be complete,” he said.



He indicated that the total assets of those SEs was GH¢417 billion as reported in the 2020 financial year and that per the state ownership report, the SEs had 76,949 employees in the same year.

“If we grow the specified entities and expand them then they will contribute to job creation to complete what the private sector is doing under the One-District-One-Factory programme,” Mr Cudjoe said.

Problems

Highlighting the challenges facing the SEs, Mr Cudjoe mentioned fragmented oversight responsibilities exercised by various state entities over the operations of those SEs as a major challenge that had contributed to what he called non-aligned reporting by the SEs.

“It is the absence of this aligned oversight structure which eluded the country and has resulted in the accumulated losses and collapses of government enterprises over the years,” he said.

He, however, expressed delight that for the first time in the history of Ghana, the establishment of State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) addressed those challenges by ensuring that board of directors, management teams and workers worked the way they should.

Lack of compliance and transparency

Dwelling on the challenge of lack of compliance, transparency and accountability, Mr Cudjoe opined that when he took office and visited some of the public enterprises; he observed instances where accounts of those enterprises had not been prepared for over 10 years.



“I hazard to say that when you have an investment as a state or a shareholder and an account has not been prepared and audited, it is a big recipe for corruption,” he said.

He, however, said with the ongoing restructuring and face-lifting, chief executive officers had been calling for audited accounts of the enterprises.



Touching on some of the achievement made so far, Mr Cudjoe said the PE had succeeded in achieving structural alignment of improved performance, governance and oversight with his appointment to focus on the sector and boards in place to deliver effective outcomes and management being prevailed upon to ensure profitable and efficient operations.

He said while in the past companies hardly submitted their state ownership reports to enable the government to take effective decisions, today, “we have seen increased compliance with comprehensive reporting and transparency and accountability; we have seen state ownership reports and publication”.

“In 2016, there were just 18 state ownership reports but under this government in 2017, we have had enhanced content 49 companies reporting, 77 reporting in 2018, 106 in 2019, 132 in 2020,” he said.

Making profits

Concurring that a number of SEs made losses over the past years, today many of them such as Ghana Water Company, Electricity Company of Ghana, GRIDCO, Volta River Authority, Ghana Ports were reporting profits.

He, for instance, showcased the turnaround the Ghana Publishing Company was making today following the restructuring of the entity as against its non-performance in the past.

“If you have a public investment or asset and no maintenance takes place, you are running it down until it collapses,” he said.

The minister hinted that there were plans to list some profitable state companies on the stock to encourage public investors to acquire shares in them.

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