Ghana’s Parliament on May 2, 2019 passed a new companies’ Act bill into law (Act 992) to amend and consolidate the law relating to companies and to establish the office of the Registrar of Companies.
This new Act replaces the erstwhile companies’ Act 1963 (Act 179).
The new Act made inroads to key aspects of companies’ life: formation, financing, management, governance and dissolution/insolvency.
The Act thus has implications for principal officers, organs and members of companies in Ghana.
It is against this backdrop that Excel Professional Institute in collaboration with Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, GIMPA, Takoradi campus in the Western Region organized a symposium on Ghana’s new companies, Act 2019 (Act 992).
This symposium was geared towards equipping key officers of companies with a working knowledge of the new companies’ Act.
The event was attended by Senior Managers, Board Representatives, Directors and Leadership from various captains of industry who were given an insight into the new act governing companies in the country and also highlighted on a dozen of regulatory changes.
In his presentation, a Charted Accountant, Holy Kwabla Kportorgbi, traced historical antecedents of companies’ regulation in Ghana from 1908 to date.
He said the Act specifies that a person is not qualified to be appointed as a company secretary unless the person is a lawyer, or chartered Accountant with the ICAG or holds a tertiary qualification in the expanded duties of directors of companies with an offering in Company Law Practice and Administration.
Touching on Directorship, Mr. Kportorbi who is also a lecturer at GIMPA explained that the new act prescribes that directors need to make statutory declaration that they are fit and proper to act as company directors.
He also highlighted on how the new act seeks to strengthen corporate governance systems by extending responsibilities and duties of directors.
The dean of University of Cape Coast Business school Prof. John Gatsi focused his presentation on regulator side issues with emphasis on the fact that the agenda of easing business can only be realized if the Registrar is well resourced to implement the provisions of the Act to the letter.
He emphasized the need for the registrar to provide an implementation guide to address issues of office locations, human resources and IT infrastructure.
Professor Gatsi reiterated that the Registrar should learn from regulatory failures in the past and adopt proactive regulatory posture as opposed to reactive fire-fighting.
Professor Gatsi also commented on the prime role of corporate governance adding that business captains must endeavor to scrutinize suggestions for appointments unto corporate boards before approval.
The participants including representatives from Wayoe Engineering, GREL, STESS and British Lloyd International , Lower Pra Lower Pra Rural Bank, WEMS and Seaweld Group commended the organizers for the insights and encouraged the organizers to institute a series of such symposia on sensitive corporate issue to equip them with the requisite guide to manage their various business successfully.