27 defunct SOEs to be deleted from government book; 7 more to be traced

About 27 defunct State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) – best-described as investments gone bad – are set to cleared from government’s books, while investment in a further seven entities, of which four are wholly owned by the state and three are joint ventures, are to be properly captured in the ledger for disclosure in the financial statement.

This was contained in an audit report prepared by Deloitte and Touché and commissioned by government that is set for presentation to Parliament for approval.

The defunct entities include: Ghana International Airways, Bonsa Tyre Company, State Construction Corporation, and State Fishing Corporation.

Others are: National Savings and Credit Bank, Ashanti Cocoa Project, New India Assurance, Zenith Assurance, Ghana Live Stock Company, Ejura Farms, Bridatrust International, Oppong Mansi Integrated Iron and Steel, Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation, State Hotels Corporation, Rural Banks, Ghana National Trading Corporation, Bakeley Steel Ltd., Kumasi Brewery, and Home Finance Company

The rest are: Ghana Tobacco Company, Ghana Bottling Company, West Africa Mills, Crystal Oil Mills, Neoplan Ghana Limited, Ghana Cargo Handling, Ghana Merchant Company and Ghana Sugar Estate.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to answer questions on the 2016 Auditor General’s report on Consolidated Funds, Deputy Minister Abena Osei Asare said: “We have received the consultant’s report and we will review it; the Ministry of Finance will come to Parliament and seek approval to clear these defunct companies and also reduce loan balances they have with government,” she told Members of PAC at Parliament House in Accra on Monday.

According to the report, investments in four SOEs and three other companies partly-owned by GoG were omitted from the investment schedule.

“Some of these institutions have been making payments of surpluses and dividends to government and have been duly captured in the Dividend Registers of PDI and Non-Tax Revenue (NTR); but their corresponding investment has not been captured in the ledger for disclosure in financial statements,” the report said.
Among the companies that were undisclosed under GoG investments are: Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority; National Lotteries Authority; Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing; and Juapong Textiles.

Three investments under joint venture – Twifo Oil Palm Plantation, GIHOC Pharmaceuticals and Ghana Textiles – were omitted. The Songor Salt Project and Saltpond Oil were also omitted from both the register and financial statement.

“I also observed that GoG ownership in the Songor Salt Project (100%) and Saltpond Oil (45%) were not accounted for as part of GoG Investment, thus obscuring information on the extent of GoG control in the entities,” the report stated.