Accra, 19th August,2019 - The Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta has called on the leadership of the State Interest and Governance Authority to devise strategies to boost dividend payments and delivery of returns as required.
He made this known in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Planning, Professor Gyan Baffour at the launch of the State Interest and Governance Authority in Accra.
“We have high expectations of SIGA to work towards rewriting government’s dividend history to improve dividend payments, particularly for those State Owned Enterprises currently making profits.” Mr. Ofori-Atta stated.
The Minister regretted that, in 2018 only two SOEs, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Ghana Reinsurance Company paid their dividends amounting to GHȻ8.5 million representing a paltry 6.12%. Mining companies and Joint venture companies contributed the majority estimated at approximately GHȻ 112.1 million and GHȻ18.5 million respectively.
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, the need for improvement in the dividend collection has become more important now that Government was working towards the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda and needed additional revenues to achieve the ambitious development targets it had set.
“A turnaround in the aggregate performance of SOEs and stronger corporate governance structures embedded in the institutional framework of our state enterprise and other state entities were critical elements in achieving those targets,” the Finance Minister stressed.
He gave the indication that with the right structures and direction, the non performing SOEs could positively turn around to a profit-making position to generate enough dividend for Government.
“From the Ministry of Finance, we are very much committed to supporting SIGA and Hon. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (MP), Minister of State responsible for SIGA in achieving its mandate,” he assured.
The State Interest and Governance Authority that had come to replace the State Enterprises Commission and the Divestiture Implementation Committee was launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and attended by chief executive officers of the various state owned enterprises, joint venture capitals, the academia, politicians, civil servants and the media. END