ShawbellConsulting marks 15 years anniversary – advocates incentives for locally-owned professional firms

Ms. Christian

Ms. Christian

ShawbellConsulting, has marked its 15th anniversary celebration with a call on the government to stridently implement its policy commitments by encouraging public agencies, development partners and other entities to engage indigenous professional firms.

 

Speaking in an interview with the media as part of activities to celebrate the 15th anniversary Ms. Phyllis M. Christian, CEO of ShawbellConsulting, a professional services firm which provides institutional reform and legal services to public and private sector clients, said her outfit was impressed with the intended policies by the government to ensure that indigenous firms thrive.

 

The anniversary is under the theme, ’Encouraging the indigenous professional firm – A critical factor in Ghana’s economic development.’

 

“We were pleased when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a truly trailblasing move while President-elect, at the Post-AGM Private Sector Forum of the Private Enterprise Foundation, and re-echoed by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the recent National Policy Summit in Accra, promised to pass legislation to require that at least 70 per cent of all government, taxpayer-financed contracts and procurements be executed by local corporate entities,” she said.

 

“He further reiterated that his government would introduce a policy requiring that 30 per cent of the required 70 per cent be sourced from entities owned by women, persons with disability, and those established under the Youth Enterprise Fund,” she recounted.

 

Ms. Christian said, “We are keen to see this policy in action. It would be easy to insist that the indigenous firms must be deserving of selection under this policy, but we urge government to stretch its hand further by making deliberate investments in this indigenous class of professionals by granting us tax concessions and other business operating reliefs.”

 

The government she said must also look at the provision of training, and other capacity building programmes to such indigenous specialists, so that Ghana can also generate an elite and truly exportable corps of professional firms in the tradition of the international firms too.

 

“In fact, our firm would be pleased to assist government to develop not only the legislative regime in which this policy would thrive, but to also help in crafting its implementation framework with such ultimate goals in mind,” she said.

 

It was indeed heartwarming also that the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea provided some reassurances of government’s commitment to the use of indigenous contractors when he spoke of his satisfaction with the work of a local contractor in regard to the sea defence wall in the Western Region during a recent visit.

 

She however, stated that “the difference is that the work of professionals like us is not so immediately tangible, except by means of a final report or presentation”.

 

Ms. Christian therefore called for a more conscious effort by policy makers to bridge the knowledge gap between themselves and indigenous professional firms, by engaging in activities that serve to forge closer links with each other, on an ongoing basis.

 

Commenting on performance of ShawbellConsulting she said the greatest achievement of the company has been the ability to stay the course as a wholly-owned indigenous firm, over the past 15 years and in a highly competitive sector, delivering world-class services.

 

On the challenges encountered by the company since its inception she said, “I cannot say there has never been a time when closing shop would seem to be an attractive option. There have been lean seasons when work has been spare, the cost of electricity is unbearable, and we have, on several occasions encountered clients that make you wonder if it is all worth the headaches.  However, certain factors make it worth our while to keep going.”

 

“We have, from day one of the firm’s existence, kept a permanent roll of staff. This in itself has been a challenge because salaries must be paid even when there is no work. However, against the odds, the firm has grown to comprise a dedicated team of senior professionals, assistant consultants, and support staff who are ever ready and eager to work and apply themselves to any call to duty.”

By David Adadevoh

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