Mr Rockson Kwesi Dogbegah, President of the Institute of Directors, on Wednesday advocated for Board of Directors of both governmental and non-governmental organisations to be trained and certified to enable them serve successfully.
He said for a board to be proactive, accountable and be able to govern a company well, there is the need for training programmes for incoming members.
He said in countries like the United Kingdom and India, one could not be a board member without the required training and certification.
Mr Dogbegah said this during a Dialogue on Good Corporate Governance, which was on the topic; “Towards Ensuring Integrity in the Private Sector: The Role of Policy Makers and the State”.
The programme was organised by the Alliance for Integrity with the support of Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
The Alliance for Integrity is a business-driven multi-stakeholder initiative, which aims to promote integrity among companies, their business partners and other relevant actors in the economic system.
The dialogue sought to create a platform for sharing of ideas on how to leverage corporate governance for private sector growth.
Mr Dogbegah, who is also the Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Construction Sector, said the issue about corporate governance was about processes procedures, compliance with those processes and making sure that there were sanctions and rewards.
“It is observed that there is a big challenge, as we are all observing in Ghana. Things are not going the way it should go. What is the reason?
“The reason is the lack of balance with these processes and procedures, legislative environment and all of these things are the reasons why we see what we see and experiencing what we are experiencing in Ghana now,” he said.
“So what is the way forward? The way forward is a national campaign, and a national acceptance that we cannot do things in the same manner and expect different results.
“So what is the change? The starting point is our attitude and that is where integrity comes.
“Our attitude, our culture; the fact that we have laws in this country; some of those laws must be reviewed, there is the issue about compliance to those laws; and enforcement of those laws with sanctions and rewards are the key,” he said.
Mr Dogbegah said if we want to succeed as a country, as a government, as public sector players, as private sector players, the role of compliance becomes very important, anchored on effective monitoring and evaluation in the systems.
Other panel members include Madam Jemima Oware, the Registrar General and Nana Osei-Bonsu, Chief Executive Officer, Private Enterprise Federation, Ghana.
Nana Osei-Bonsu said businesses are investments of money, hence the need for the board of director to guide its activities well.
He said if the board of directors were to neglect their responsibilities; and not prescribing the right policies, obviously management was going to do what they want to do.
Madam Oware said without the Registrar General’s Department regulating the operations of companies, there would be more chaos than there was already.
“We have the Companies Act that we have had since 1963, but I don’t think we’ve really implemented most its provisions.
“Only recently I started kicking in the penalty regime to ensure that companies file their annual returns on time…….” she said.
“If we will do out bit of regulating and ensuring that we get the provisions to work in the Companies Act, I am sure that we can have a better corporate governance culture than we currently have,” she said.
Madam Oware said: “I am alive to my responsibilities now. Yes. Really I am. I am firing all cylinders. companies should get ready”.
Mr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, Minister for Business Development, in a speech read on his behalf, said “corporate governance and an enhanced business environment is not to single out persons or an organisation’s responsibility.
“It is important that we all play the active roles for the right result to be achieved. Let us all join hands to make Ghana stand tall in cooperate governance”.
He said the Governments appreciate the work and support of its development partners; and it is in this regard that the German Government continues to show commitment to various bilateral agreements towards Ghana’s development.
Mr Robin Cordes, Deputy Head of Development Corporation, German Embassy, called on private sector entities to embrace integrity and good corporate governance; adding that business integrity does pays off.