Twenty officials from several divisions within the Ministry of Finance and the National Commission for Privatisation (NCP) have benefited from a just-concluded two-week intensive capacity training programme facilitated by a team of experts from AFRITAC West 2 and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in strengthening the use of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Health Check Tool and Discrete Guarantee and Loan Assessment tool to analyse and report SOE’s fiscal risk.
In a closing meeting at the Ministry of Finance on Friday, 15th December 2023, Messers. Kubai Khasiani, AFW2 Regional Advisor, stated they provided hands-on training on the use of the SOE Health Check Tool, trained officials on the theoretical and practical aspects of Discrete Guarantee and Loan Assessment tool using case studies, review the preparation of the latest SOE Financial Analysis reporting tools and share experiences from the region on the analysis and reporting of fiscal risks from SOEs.
He continues that the overall objective is to improve the capacity of the staff of the Ministry of Finance to access SOE’s fiscal risk, analyse them using quality data and report them with mitigating recommendations.
Messers. Kubai Khasiani, AFW2 Regional Advisor, further stated that during the training, they found several challenges, including access to quality, inadequate institutional arrangements, and the need for a high-level forum for SOE fiscal risk discussions.
He made several recommendations on quality data collection, integrity, the process’s digitalisation, and using fiscal risk tools’ outputs to strengthen the analysis.
Dr Alhassan Mansaray, Director of the Fiscal Risk Division of the Ministry of Finance, thanked the team for the training, stating that limited access to data is a challenge but says the government is taking steps to address the issue with the SOEs.
He further says they are looking forward to introducing a quick project to support SOEs in clearing all outstanding financial statements and reports.
The director of the fiscal risk division also spoke about the SOE governance bill that has been gazetted, saying that once enacted, it will address most of the challenges in SOE management and oversight.
He appeals for further training to be rolled out to integrate the tools with the SOEs.
Principal Deputy Financial Secretary Samuel E.B Momoh, on behalf of the leadership of the Ministry, thanked the mission for the training, stating the training came at the right time when the government has shown commitment to the governance of State-Owned Enterprises to make them more productive and profitable.
He noted the issues of institutional arrangements to make the tool accessible to enhance data collection, analysis and reporting of the fiscal risk of SOEs and recommend mitigation measures.
Esther Sesay, one of the participants and beneficiaries of the training, thanks both the Ministry of Finance and the AFRITAC West 2 leadership for training, noting that it was robust and valuable to their work in analysing SOE performance and reporting.