Integrity Magazine, a subsidiary of Krif Ghana Limited has held the maiden edition of a series of Webinars with the theme “Effects of COVID-19 on Good Corporate Governance in Ghana”
The webinar, which was held last Tuesday was to serve as a platform to inform and educate businesses on the next strategic steps to take as business leaders in order to sail through the Coronavirus crisis with minimal losses.
Speaking on the effects of the pandemic on businesses, Rev. Kennedy Okosun, the Executive Chairman of Krif Ghana Limited and the Publisher of the Integrity Magazine, opined that many organizations will be the target of hostile activity under the current circumstances and may have to brace themselves for the possibility of take-overs.
“There might be critical unanswered questions rummaging through the minds of many as we move into a period of a new normal. Our culture, corporate behavior and organizational output are going to be affected, whether we like it or not. Organizations will never go back to doing business as usual, or doing business the way they knew how. All must embrace change; that change may be negative or positive depending on how we adapt to the prevailing exigencies.”
“Given the unexpected, and extremely rapid, onset of the crisis, most companies did not foresee the dramatic slowdown of the global economy. There are questions to ask and very far reading decisions to make during this pandemic with respect to the liquidity and capital considerations of companies: understanding the impact of the crisis on the companies’ cash flow, very difficult decisions on upcoming maturities of outstanding account payables that need to be settled and the likelihood that financial covenants will be maintained.” Rev. Okosun said.
On the effect of the Covid-19 on corporate governance he said, corporate governance might not be the obvious focus during this crisis for some entities albeit it is during these moments that leadership and management structures are tested and exposed for their strengths and or weaknesses.
Mr. Michael Osikoya, the Chief Executive Officer of Mikensy Consulting Limited, who was one of the speakers, examined the effects of COVID-19 on various stakeholders, mentioning that just as Ghana is recording human fatality, we may not be able to account for the number of businesses that suffer similar ‘fatality’ from COVID-19.
He stated that a number of sectors that have been affected severely by the pandemic include tourism and leisure, aviation and maritime, automotive, construction, real estate and manufacturing, adding that the effects on the Academia appears devastating to say the least. He noted that sectors that have actually gained during this season are the medical supply and services, food processing and retail, personal and healthcare, ICT, e-commerce and agriculture.
Mr. Osikoya also noted that the government has been affected adversely by this virus because it has had to provide various stimulus packages and dole out free cash to support various stakeholders, interest groups, businesses and people. He stated that the government had lost income from taxes and had resorted to borrow to re- inflate the economy, noting that some hard decisions had to be taken that is not palatable for the economy such as the closure of airports and entry points (borders) with neighbors.
For the solutions to the effect of the pandemic, Mr. Osikoya suggested that business, leaders and stakeholders should enter into a “restart” mode to come out of the challenges the virus has imposed on them, further insisting that various stakeholders in business such as the shareholders, employees, customers and others must forfeit certain benefits to bring back businesses on track.
The webinar brought together leaders from various organizations in the corporate environment in Ghana. The next webinar is slated for Tuesday the 2nd of June, 2020 with the focus on the banking sector. The series will run for the next 6 weeks.