President of IMANI-AFRICA, Franklyn Cudjoe has said the government’s decision to privatise non-performing state agencies is long over due.

Speaking on Top Story, Monday, he noted that the decision is not surprising to him since he expected it a long time ago.

“I am not surprised about this development…I think it is long overdue,” he said.

Mr. Franklyn Cudjoe further urged the government not to sell off these state agencies to cronies of the government as witnessed in some cases in the past.

He said government must avoid any arrangement which will lead to “crony’s capitalism”.

Mr. Cudjoe noted that there should be an independent valuer for these agencies to be sold to independent individuals.

“If I had my way, I will privatise storage of water because it is money we use in making the water clean for it to be sold and of course, it can be sold at some affluent areas. So there are various parameters for determining state value or private ownership of these assets,” he added.

The Ministry of Public Enterprises has served notice that it will privatise non-performing state agencies if they fail to turn the tide.

This comes at the back of a 2020 State Ownership Report released by the Finance Ministry which recorded a GH₵5.3 billion loss by State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

Minister for State Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe told the Host of JoyNews’ The Pulse, Blessed Sogah on Monday, April 11, that “some SOEs will be privatized, some will be sold off”.

He added “there are defunct enterprises sitting on assets and government is using taxpayers’ money, paying some security people and people are demolishing the assets and selling. Something like that, you don’t hold”.

The Minister who doubles as a Member of Parliament for Effia Constituency, further explained that government cannot continue to use the taxpayers’ money on “defunct” SOEs.

“When you have a company just defunct you have to pay security every month to take care of it. You don’t have money to pay because they run it down. You don’t have money to pay for it to operate. What will you do? the private man will sell before it reaches even that stage. Do you understand? But sometimes because of sentiments, we hold on to it and keep using your tax, income tax when you check your payslip, your tax, and then they go and pay for that defunct thing in the bush. And you see it run down, down and down because of sentiment. Sentiment doesn’t come in, if you want it, you exact performance from people taking care of your investments,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry will this year, apply sanctions to State-Owned Enterprises that fail to meet demands and obligations in the Public Financial Management law.

Among the sanctions considered include; refusal of financial support to entities that fail to meet the reporting time and others.

Deputy Finance Minister Dr. John Kumah described the development as unacceptable and hinted at sanctions to turn the fortunes of the enterprises around.

“It is regrettable that while our specified entities, especially the SOEs hold significant assets, their performance and effectiveness leaves much to be desired. Henceforth, the Finance Ministry will not consider any government request for government support from any specified entities that fail to meet the reporting requirements specified in the PMF regulations, SIGA etc.

“Secondly, in consultation with the Minister for Public Enterprise, the Finance Minister has directed the Director-General of SIGA to ensure that appropriate sanctions and penalties are applied for infractions of the PMF regulations and SIGA Act,” he said.