Associate Professor at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Prof. Lord Mensah, has called for measures to be put in place to ensure an improvement in productivity and profitability of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs)

According to him, it is about time the state put in place benchmarks to be met by the Chief Executive Officers of these state institutions.

He said, “We need to put down measures that will require that those who are appointed, be it the CEOs, the Board and all those people have some benchmarks.

“And possibly look at how we can even tie their salaries – I know most of them are taking more than 5 digit figures when it comes to salary compensation – so let’s look at all these things, tie your performance to some of these indicators, and stop giving excuses like the environment does not make provision for it.”

His comments follow a recent SIGA report on the 2020 performance of State Owned Enterprises.

According to the report, most SOEs had failed to make profit or break even, and had instead gone on to accumulate crippling debts.

Critics have called for the privatization of these poor performing SOEs, however, some CEOs from these Enterprises have argued that the Covid-19 pandemic had been the cause of their woes. But reacting to such assertions, Professor Lord Mensah said it was disingenuous to blame the poor performance of SOEs on the pandemic.

He said, “The environment is not making provision for it, but you’ve gone ahead to borrow. You know very well that the environment will not allow you to perform why do you go ahead to borrow?”

“So effectively I will say that yes indeed it’s a cause to worry, it’s time to sit back as a country, develop some sort of corporate governance framework for our state owned institutions and ensure that they go by it, they stick to it and then look at possibly, the Parliament oversight on some of these state owned institutions after all they belong to the state,” he suggested.