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Daily Graphic Editorial: SIGA can crack the whip

Eighty state entities, on January 8, 2020, signed performance contract agreements with the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) for this year.

The entities, under the contract, are projected to pay about GH¢1.2 billion as dividend to the state within the year.

The signing ceremony was on the theme: “Transforming state entities to contribute significantly towards Ghana Beyond Aid”.

At the ceremony, the Director-General of SIGA, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, indicated that SIGA would build a database of the specified entities and carry out vigorous monitoring of every entity which signed the contract.

He also indicated that the state had departed from the era of the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) when non-compliance did not mean anything.

“This time, there are heavy penalties, ranging from refusal to grant bonuses, financial charges, recommendations to the appointing authority to remove managements and boards of directors and prosecution, leading to court fines and jail terms,” he stated.

The Daily Graphic finds this initiative most encouraging, primarily because the ‘business-as-usual’ attitude of the Ghanaian must end.

We believe that this new targets will push state agencies to up their game to help the government, and for that matter, the country, meet its revenue target and attain its development objectives.

Much as we reckon that some state agencies are doing so well and need to be hugely encouraged, the managements of others simply see themselves as conduits for enjoying state largesse, without delivering on their mandate.

This notwithstanding, the Daily Graphic wishes to draw the attention of SIGA to the fact that there are performing but challenged state agencies that need the support of the state in respect of finance and logistics to deliver on their mandate.

There are state agencies which generate resources, pay their employees, finance all their operations and are still expected to pay dividend to the state. Such agencies, unfortunately, are seen more as private sector agencies meeting all their obligations — taxes, duties, electricity and water bills — than commercial entities, without any support whatsoever.

Interestingly, some state agencies are indebted to such performing but highly challenged state entities.

We are convinced that SIGA must go to the aid of such agencies and better position them to deliver on their core mandates, in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda of the government.

Fortunately, at the signing ceremony, Mr Asamoah-Boateng acknowledged that there were specified entities saddled with huge legacy debts which were hindering their smooth operations, and gave an assurance that SIGA would support them and give bailouts to those that were facing liquidity and operational challenges to enable them to perform better.

The Daily Graphic believes that these assurances should go beyond words and be translated into action to redeem the pledges of the SIGA Secretariat.

We also urge those placed in charge of these state agencies to be selfless and run the institutions as their personal property to generate the needed revenue for the state to accelerate its developmental agenda.

When this is done but such affected agencies fail to deliver, then SIGA can crack the whip.


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