President Akufo-Addo has said that everyone should be concerned about governance infractions as when they arise, they exact enormous costs that affect the entire society.
“The cost of poor governance can be enormous,” he stressed in remarks presented on his behalf by Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, to the Institute of Directors, Ghana (IoD-Gh) at its stakeholders’ forum.
According to President Akufo-Addo, no sooner had the government assumed office in 2017, than it realised it had inherited “a deficient financial infrastructure” and ended up spending over GH¢21 billion “to remedy the consequences of bad corporate governance in the financial sector” and a further GH¢4.5 billion “to protect investors in failed asset management companies.”
“Poor corporate governance across public enterprises has also had a significant adverse impact on our fiscals, with state owned enterprises reporting significant and persistent operating losses”, the President said, adding that by the end of 2019, a cumulative total of GH¢16.37 billion in outstanding on-lend loans stood against state-owned enterprises.
Similarly, in 2020 and amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, government had to transfer over GH¢166 million as government support to a number of these state owned entities.
“These resources could have been used to expand social welfare programmes to mitigate the impact of the pandemic for the average Ghanaian, amongst others,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo expressed the hope that the forum would foster strong collaborations amongst various public and private stakeholders to promote good corporate governance and ethical leadership to build a more resilient economy while promoting the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
He pointed to a number of measures taken to address the challenges, including engaging extensively with the management of SOEs and setting up the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) which is leading efforts to ensure SOEs can run efficient and profitable operations and fulfil basic statutory requirements.
“We can equally relate to the impact of good and bad corporate governance and it is this shared experience that has brought us all here today,” he said, and pointed out that “Good governance requires credible and trustworthy institutions built on transparency and accountability.”
The IoD-Gh has been holding its 4th Annual Directors’ Week Celebration with a number of activities between 16th and 19th November.
The Annual Directors’ Week Celebration brings directors in public and private sector, and members of the Institute together to build their capacity, network and share ideas on how to promote professional directorship and good corporate governance.
The 2021 edition of the celebrations is on the theme “Good Corporate Governance and Ethical Leadership: An Essential Requirement for Organizational Turnaround”.
President of the Institute of Directors, Ghana (IoD-Gh), Mr. Rockson Dogbegah, said the quest for good corporate governance is now a global issue, and noted that it has been 15 years since the African Union peer-reviewed Ghana in Khartoum, Sudan, and recommended among others, a harmonized set of guidelines for corporate governance for the country.
He recalled the launch on November 4, 2021, of a project to complete within one year, the development of a common corporate governance code for Ghana.