Adnan Adams Mohammed
Government’s earlier intention to dilute its ownership in about 15 State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) as reported later part of last year, have been slashed down to seven (7) after the committee’s report.
The listing on Ghana Stock Exchange of the yet to be known 7 SOEs is expected to happen this year. This was announced after a committee (made up of GSE and State Interest Governance Authority officials) set up to review of the performance of these state entities engaged the media last week.
The GSE last year at the 10th Ghana Economic Forum indicated that, 15 SOEs were to be listed after their analysis and assessment of these enterprises. With regards to the poor performance of the SOEs, President Akufo-Addo, last month vented his displeasure on the heads of SOEs to end the continuous posting of losses since 2015. According to the 2020 Auditor General’s report, the SOEs posted losses of over 200% between 2018 and 2019. While the total of 126 SOEs, valued at GH¢110 billion, recorded GH¢5.3 billion losses in 2020 alone.
“The GSE and SIGA have formed two committees, a steering and a technical committee. And throughout the whole of last year, we worked to review about 30 companies. Out of that we came out with the first shortlist of about 18 companies, and we have narrowed it down to the first 7 companies that we believe are market-ready”, Deputy Managing Director of GSE, Abena Amoah noted during a meeting with the media in Accra. “The move forms part of efforts to make state entities profitable and capable of contributing significantly to the development of the country.”
Since many of these companies are owned by the government, there are some of them in the larger group that are in joint ventures with other private sectors. So cabinet approval was needed before the companies could be listed, she indicated.
“We have done a paper and presented it to the Ministry of Finance. It will go to the shareholder which is Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Public Enterprises to approve these first seven so that they can decide and accept them. Again, we are working with our brokers to ensure this happens.”