New Companies’ Act ready …awaits Presidential assent

A window opening to initiate outmost compliance in enhancing business development and ensuring acceptable practices is about to take off following the passage of the new Companies’ Act, 2019 last Thursday by Parliament.

The passage of the new Act – which awaits presidential assent, would establish a new Office – Registrar of Companies, out of the existing Registrar-General’s Department (RGD) to deal exclusively with company registration and business regulation. This is aimed at providing an easeful environment for doing business and raising investor confidence.

To streamline this procedure, the Institute of Directors (IoD) Ghana is initiating processes to ensure compliance of the regulations which are geared towards promoting and sustaining good corporate governance practices in the country.

Key among the practices in the new regulation is having to deal with the issue of training and certification of all Board of Directors at the various public and private institutions – which the IoD itself has already provided an avenue for training and related matters.

Earlier, the RGD has created a window to ensure that directors go through continuous professional development which would in turn translate to ensuring upright corporate governance practices.

This was an initiative propounded and brought forward for consideration and enactment into the New Companies’ Act by the Institute in its quest to ensure better corporate practices.

After a presidential assent, it would make it obligatory for shareholders and owners of public and private institutions respectively to provide verifiable evidence during the course of submitting annual returns, to prove that their board of directors have undergone training and certification in corporate governance.

The idea is to ensure that directors that serve on corporate boards, including the boards of public companies, have the requisite knowledge and capacity on corporate governance to be able to discharge their duties and fulfill their responsibilities properly, and be better positioned to make adequate decisions that inform corporate/institutional policy.

Speaking exclusively with the Goldstreet Business during an International Conference on enhancing and sustaining good corporate governance in Accra yesterday, president of the IoD Mr. Rockson Dogbegah noted that the passage of the new Act has created the space to instill such practices.

“Aside this, the IoD is working on a number of reforms that seeks to help private sector growth”, he stressed.

Conference

The event brought together international sector players from Mauritius, Kenya, Nigeria together with the African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN) as well as the International Financial Corporation (IFC) for discussion and deliberation.

Organised on the theme Sustaining Good Corporate Governance: Role of Stakeholder, discussions largely centred on effective measures to ensure good corporate practices in Africa together with risk and opportunities in the sector.

The Guest of Honour, President Akufo-Addo was represented by the Minister for Business Development, Mohammed Awal. Other speakers were Prof. Addai Mensah, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission and Dr. Anthony Oteng-Gyasi, Chairman for the occasion.

By Dundas Whigham