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Business News of Friday, 30 June 1995

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Privatisation committee appears tired

In a move which can only be described as "we are now tired and need help", Mr Emmanuel Agbodo's Divestiture Implenmentation Committee (DIC) is to appoint outside agents to carry out some privatisation programmes on behalf of the committee, according to a recent press announcement made in Accra.

Mr Agbodo who has headed the Committee since its inception and at times appear to shroud its activities in secrecy has explained that under the new scheme, the DIC will appoint other agencies such as merchant and investment banks, lawyers, accountants, and other consultants with relavant experience.

Mr. Agbodo said the aim of the scheme is to accelerate the privatisation programme and to achieve the target set for each year. He said the government plans to sell or liquidate 38 state owned enterprises by March 1997.

Mr. Agbodo said 14 majority owned enterprise as the State Insurance Corporation (SIC), State Housing Corporation and Mim Timber Company. He said three of the companies including the Telecommunications Corporation are expected to be prepared for privatisation by the end of 1996.

He added that steps are also taken to increase Ghanaian involvement in divestitures and added that this will include the public flotation of shares in companies which recorded good operating results in the past and shown propect for continued profitability.

He also envisaged a rationalisation of the privatisation exercise to ensure that they are done within the armbit of the DIC. Mr. Agbodo rejected claims that the divestiture programme has been titled in favour of certain categories of people.

He said members of the committee have been very conscience with their work and added that the committee has always acted indepently without interference; that kind of thinking is a dangerous developmemt which must be curtailed" Mr. Agbodo added.