Salaries and benefits of some Chief Executive Officers of some public organisations could be slashed in the coming days if the Finance Ministry is able to rationalize their pay structure.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, is concerned that some CEOs are earning thrice more than the President of the Republic.
The Ministry is pushing for a scheme to make it impossible for any CEO to earn more than the president.
Addressing a policy and governance forum on governance strategic policy for the Civil Society Organisation sector, Mr Ofori-Atta also noted that the review will also look at the bonus structure for the CEOs.
“We currently have a mirage of remuneration schedule that we don’t quite understand. I think we need to begin to rationalize it to make it clear where remuneration ends so that it does not go beyond the presidency,” he said.
He said consideration will be given to the various sitting allowances, board fees as well as other related benefits.
The Minister also raised the issues about corporate governance culture and practices of SOEs saying, “as a shareholder, one of our key priority is to have SOEs both listed and unlisted operate in line with principles of efficiency and productivity without causing a burden on the public purse.”
Adding his voice to the concerns raised, the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia also bemoaned the current salary levels which he said are not in conformity with productivity.
He charged that over the few days as the fora progress, attention will be given to three critical issues; commercial viability, fiscal impact as well as corporate governance issues.
On commercial viability, for instance, he noted that “a recent report by the Finance Ministry covering about 18 SOEs indicated that they made a net loss of ¢791 million in addition to having received loans and financial support.
“This is no longer sustainable and it is your responsibility to come to the table in the course of this forum with solutions to it,” he charged.
Dr Bawumia believes the growth of the private sector makes it increasingly difficult to justify the participation of government in certain sectors of the economy.
Commenting on the issue, CEO of the State Enterprises Commission, Stephen Asamoah Boateng said the calls for performance, monitoring and evaluation are in order.
“We need to start to get them thinking they are not being paid because they are heading Cocobod, VRA or Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GHPA) but they must perform and be measured by it and be paid for it according,” he said.
He attributed the losses and debt accumulated to “lack of proper governance structures and leaving organisations on their own without an oversight body like the SEC which should have been doing it.”
He said the politics of the situation does not help the nation and measures should be put in place to delink SOEs from politics.