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20.04.2004 Business & Finance

State Owned Enterprises directed to get audited accounts ready

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Accra, April 20, GNA - State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) with backlog of un-audited accounts have been directed to rectify them by the end of September this year.
Dr. Samuel Nii Ashong, Minister of State for Economic Planning, who gave the directive, said this would enable the Government to determine the efficient and effective use of state investments.
"When state investments in your enterprises are properly husbanded, the state can be assured of good returns now and in the future."
The Minister was speaking at the signing of this year's Performance Contracts between SOEs and the Government in Accra on Tuesday. Dr Ashong said the Boards of SOEs needed to uphold transparency and accountability by ensuring that final accounts had been completed and audited before the end of the first quarter of each year.
He said increased contributions of SOEs to the national coffers would be the sole motivating factor for the Government to invest more for retooling and carrying out critical changes in the sector.
The Minister said, to strengthen and improve returns to Government on its investments, SOEs were required to have specific dividend policies, ensure that dividend declared was not less than 30 per cent of net profit and these must be paid within 30-90 days.
In addition, he said SOEs should adopt as part of their dividend policy the payment of at least 25 per cent of the expected pay out as interim dividend.
Dr Ashong also directed all SOEs to hold Annual General Meetings before the end of June each year, saying the Enterprises needed the accountability and responsibility that the AGM provided. He asked SOEs to embrace Information and Communication Technology to enhance their work.
Mr David Djanie, Acting Executive Chairman of State Enterprises Commission, stressed the importance of planning in the attainment of corporate goals and objectives.
He asked organizations that had relegated planning functions into the background to revive them because corporate-wide planning was a necessary backbone of the Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation system. Mr. Djanie deplored the lack of capacity building and succession planning, saying such failures in the area of human resource development was leading to the collapse of most outfits through resignations and transfers.
He urged the Board, Management and staff to work as a team to promote industrial harmony and increased productivity.
Major (rtd) Courage Quashigah, Minister of Agriculture, asked Chief Executives of SOEs to demonstrate such leadership qualities of innovation, risk taking, selflessness and good supervision in the management of their organizations.
Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives said there was the need to rationale SOEs into the national development agenda.

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