Let loss making entities go! – Kwame Pianim

A renowned economist and politician, Mr Kwame Pianim, has advised the government to auction non-functioning subvented public entities who continue to incur debt for the State.

He said constant funding of these entities in attempt to revamp their operations was not yielding the desired results; therefore, they should be auctioned to the private sector.

He said, only the strategic public entities such as the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the harbours should be managed by the State.

“Apart from these strategic public entities, any institutions that is doing production or distribution should be sold to the private sector so that the investors can go and borrow money to make these entities work to be able to pay salaries.

“This will help reduce the financial burdens on the government, as the government will henceforth, spend the little money on human skills such as Free Senior High School, nurses and doctors, among others, and as well build hospitals and other infrastructures that will be beneficiary to the citizenry,” he said.

MrPianim said this on Tuesday at the public forum organised by IMANI Ghana, in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Accra.

The forum which brought together stakeholders from both the public and the private sectors was on the topic “Is Ghana’s micro-environment an enabler or hammer to attracting investment?”

MrPianim added that, auctioning these non-functioning entities would drastically reduce the size of government, as it may not be the responsibility of the State to appoint and pay managers of these entities.

He, however, cautioned the government to make the enabling environment suitable for the private sector before auctioning these entities.

MrPianimexplained that, the enabling environment should be structured in a manner where the investor would be secured under any government, irrespective of which political party was voted to govern.

“It is important for every Ghanaian to view entrepreneurs as national assets. So that no matter which political party comes to power they will not be going to sack people from doing business,” he said.

The Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr John AmpontuahKumah, on January 28, 2022, revealed that, some public entities continuously incur losses, stressing that, in2015 and 2020, an amount of GH¢ 2.1 billion and GH¢5.3 billion respectively were losses incurred by these entities.

He said currently, there were 183 specified entities on government books, consisting of 51 State-Owned Enterprises, 43 Joint-Venture Companies and 89 other State Entities.

The Deputy Minister made this revelation at the State Enterprise public forum organised by the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) in Accra.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN

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