Yesterday, the Institute of Directors (IoD) hosted a media engagement as the latest initiative in its ongoing effort to get corporate Ghana to step up the quality of its corporate governance.
As part of the engagement the media practitioners who formed the discussion panel (including the editor of this newspaper) advised, in response to exhortations from the organizers to support their crusade, that media houses would be willing to do so but need financial support towards this end.
Indeed, the simple truth is that corporate governance issues are not popular among the Ghanaian public and addressing them will cost forgone revenue on the coverage of alternative issues that resound more loudly with their readers, listeners and viewers as the case may be.
Since good corporate governance would benefit all sorts of stakeholders, there is therefore the need for some of them at least to contribute by financing the public advocacy and enlightenment efforts being asked of the media, as their own contributions to what must necessarily be a wide reaching, collective effort.
Afterall, every stakeholder segment has a huge stake in improving the quality of corporate governance in Ghana. Indigenous companies stand to enjoy better corporate reputations which would translate into better patronage of the goods and services they offer, better debt financing terms due to lower perceived risk by commercial lenders, enhanced interest from equity investors and ultimately better profitability from resultant operational efficiency.
Multinational corporations operating in Ghana, who inevitably are having to use their indigenous counterparts more and more along their respective supply and value chains, stand to gain immensely if those local counterparties are better managed too, and this is made all the important by the growing insistence on local content and participation regulations.
Even foreign governments have a huge stake too. Part of their responsibilities is to identify and facilitate investment opportunities in Ghana’s economy for their portfolio and direct investors and a better managed corporate Ghana means better investment opportunities for those nationals they are required to guide into Ghana.
Finally, the state stands to enjoy bigger tax revenues, better job opportunities for its citizens and faster economic growth and development as a whole.
All this means that support for the good corporate governance crusade is not just about altruism or corporate social responsibility – there are lots of stakeholders whose self interest would be best served by putting their shoulders to the wheel.
By spreading the human and material requirements as widely as possible, the IoD and those individuals and institutions willing to partner it would not have to make martyr-like sacrifices to achieve their common goal.
This is why we are calling on all stakeholders, both in Ghana and abroad, to contribute whatever they conveniently can to the collective effort to raise the quality of corporate governance to the standards requisite for corporate Ghana to maximize its capacities and efficiencies.
This newspaper has already committed to doing its bit and is indeed living up to its commitment. We hope and expect that every other stakeholder will do the same so that they can reap the palpable benefits.