Owned Enterprises (SOEs) 2018 bill was yesterday validated at a hotel in
Kololi. The bill seeks to address the prevailing challenges facing various
public enterprises in the country.
Ousman O. Camara, Secretary General and head of the civil service said the Bill constitutes a key part of their national life and national assets. “They are central to development and economic agenda of the National Development Plan (NDP).”
The State Owned Enterprises reform, he said, is part of a broader agenda of structural reforms in the country, saying the SOE Bill 2018 is crucial in addressing the prevailing challenges facing them and the government.
“In the spirit and legacy of integrity, service and diligence, all of us most do what is right for our country and people. The president through the National Development Plan (2018-2021) has challenged us to encourage significant new investment in our economy with the aim of achieving sustained inclusive growth, creating jobs, reduce poverty and transform our economy.”
SG Camara said inclusive growth and job creation are dependent on increased investment in the country’s economy, adding that to sustain the gain of vigilance, courage and a commitment to serve the country and its citizens, people should work to entrench the democratic ethos of the constitution, social justice and fairness.
“The validated document targets to ensure that the SOE sector is effectively managed, efficiently performing, well governed, up to date and bring international best practices in SOE governance and management. It also targets to play a dynamic role in providing jobs, training and skills development,” SG Camara said.
Finance minister Mamburay Njie said the 2018-2021National Development Plan which was approved in December 2017, focuses on building good governance and accountability, stabilizing the economy, modernizing agriculture, investing in education and health services, building infrastructure including restoring energy services promoting inclusive tourism, empowering youth and promoting private sector development for job creation.
He pointed out that the corporate governance framework in the SOE sector has a number of serious shortcomings, including lack of legal requirement for the government to reimburse SOEs for the costs of any public service obligations which are not financially viable, lack of a legal requirement for SOEs to enter into performance agreements with Government and late delivery by SOEs of their audited financial statements to the National Audit Office and the National Assembly.
Mr. Njie said one of the vital recommendations and provision in the SOE Bill is regulatory reforms, pointing out that it is every SOEs’ responsibility to adopt and uplift proven, good corporate governance and transparent practices and timely performance, monitoring and reporting procedures.