SOEs not audited since 2014 alleges Kwabena Donkor

Dr Kwabena  Donkor

Dr Kwabena Donkor

PRU East MP, Dr Kwabena Donkor is alleging that “a number of our state owned enterprises (SOEs) have not had their accounts audited; some as far back as 2014” contrary to the provisions of the Companies Act.

This, he said, goes against the tenets of good corporate governance, adding that “some of these state owned entities are quoted on the Ghana Stock exchange.”

Some of the SOEs in question, Dr Donkor said include the Ghana Cocoa Processing Company, Gihoc Distilleries, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) and the Ghana Cocoa Board among others.

Speaking in an interview with a section of the media in Parliament of Friday, the former Power Minister who is also the ranking member on Parliament’s Committee on Employment, State Owned Enterprises and Social Welfare said the “regulatory bodies must sit up.”

He mentioned the Auditor General’s Department, the Registrar General’s Department, “the custodian of company records” and the Ministry of Finance, a shareholder in all SOEs and Parliament as the regulatory bodies with the mandate to ensure the accounts of the enterprises are up-to-date.

Dr Donkor was amazed at the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) for continuing listing the defaulting companies on the stock exchange because “in every serious jurisdiction, the stock exchange is the body that ensures that publicly quoted companies file their reports.”

“So if a listed company has not published its audited reports since 2014 and is on the stock exchange, then the GSE must bow down its head in shame,” he stated.

He charged the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulator of the GSE, to be up and doing because in his view it looks like corporate governance in the public sector is broken down.

Dr Donkor said the State Enterprises Commission, one of the regulators of the SOEs, needed to be strengthened and not only sign performance contracts with the enterprises but must ensure that they abide by every tenet of good corporate governance.

“As a people, I dare say we are not serious. We take the most salient issues lightly and place so much emphasis on the non important and with this attitude, we cannot make progress,” Dr Kwabena Donkor noted.

In his view, the appointing authorities must “shoulder the greater burden of blame be it NDC or NPP. Governments in the past and the present have not and are not serving this country well.

“We appoint people who are not serious to board members, we appoint mediocre people as chief executives and these people are running the SOEs to the ground and the Auditor General who is supposed to be the lead watchman as far as SOEs are concerned is also sleeping on the job,” he stressed.

The media, Dr Donkor said must also take blame for the everyday politics and take governance, both public and private far more serious as he called on the President Akufo-Addo-led administration to take a second look at corporate governance.

Other countries, the Pru East lawmaker said have used SOEs to push their development agenda and Ghana must do same because “the people who used SOEs to develop are no better than us.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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