On Thursday, 28th June 2017, the Executive Chairman of State Enterprises Commission, Hon. Asamoah-Boateng was at the offices of Architectural and Engineering Services [AESL] as part of his ongoing working-visits to State-owned Enterprises.
He was first at the offices of AESL where he was welcomed by the MD, Mr. Louis Sachimo A. Atongo and his management team. In his welcome-address, MD of AESL enumerated plethora of difficulties besetting the Company. First amongst these is the seven-member Board of Directors not being constituted as at present; a development he described as “stalling some critical decisions being taken and therefore affecting the smooth operation of the Company”.
“AESL operates strictly on Internally Generated Funds [IGF], and with a work-force of between 450 and 500, the company has been struggling to keep its head above water, financially, due to the fact that services duly rendered to the State [Government of Ghana] have always been in arrears” Mr. Atongo bemoaned
Mr. Atongo also expressed worry about situations where “contracts are awarded to his outfit by Government, but though cost of works are paid for, the services provided by his outfit often never get paid, and this has resulted in lack of liquidity and his staff not being paid salaries for the last 4months”.
Mr. Atongo further painted a gloomy picture where “AESL is currently saddled with a debt of nearly Ghc23m, of which Ghc2m is owed to retired staff, Ghc8m to SSNIT etc.]. To tackle this problem, Mr. Atongo suggested for the creation of a desk at the Ministry of Finance where “cross-debt-cancellation amongst SOEs can be affected”.
On his part, Mr. Asamoah-Boateng accepted the fact that such problems are not news to him, likewise the President, hence, the decision of His Excellency Nana Addo, to put him in-charge of “this sector to ensure things were turned around”. He hinted of plans he has put in place to create a single entity to serve as avenue for inter-trading amongst SOEs.
Mr. Asamoah-Boateng was accompanied by members of his team comprising Mr. Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei, a Presidential Staffer, Mr. John Kwesi Mensah, Ag Executive Dir., Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Benjamin Tetteh Ozor, A Senior Consultant, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Nixon Noah, ICT Officer and Mr. Daniel Kudzawu-D’Pherdd, ICT.