The Reverend Kennedy Okosun, Executive Chairman of Krif Ghana Limited, says COVID-19 has created grounds for many organisations to be the target of hostile measures and have to brace for the possibility of takeovers.
“There might be critical unanswered questions rummaging through the minds of many, especially corporate leaders as we move into a period of a new normal under COVID-19. Our culture, corporate behaviour and organisational output are going to be affected, whether we like it or not.”
“Organisations will never go back to doing business as usual, or doing business the way they know best. All must embrace change; that change may be negative or positive depending on how we adapt to the prevailing exigencies of COVID-19.”
Rev. Okosun said this at the maiden edition of Webinars organised by Integrity Magazine, a subsidiary of Krif Ghana Limited, on the theme: “Effects of COVID-19 on Good Corporate Governance in Ghana”.
He said the webinar served as a platform to inform and educate businesses on the next strategic steps to take as business leaders in order to sail through the Coronavirus crisis with minimal losses.
Speaking on the effects of the pandemic on companies, Rev. Okosun explained that; “Given the unexpected, and extremely rapid, onset of the COVID-19 crisis, most companies did not foresee the dramatic slowdown of the global economy.
“There are questions to ask and very far reaching decisions to make during this pandemic, with respect to the liquidity and capital considerations of companies”.
Rev. Okosun, also the Publisher of the Integrity Magazine, said understanding the impact of the crisis on the companies’ cash flow was a very difficult decision on upcoming maturities of outstanding account payables that needed to be settled and the likelihood that financial covenants would be maintained.
On the effect of the COVID-19 on corporate governance, he said corporate governance might not be the obvious focus during this crisis for some entities “albeit it is during these moments that leadership and management structures are tested and exposed for their strengths and or weaknesses”.
Mr Michael Osikoya, the Chief Executive Officer of Mikensy Consulting Limited, who examined the effects of COVID-19 on various stakeholders, said; “Just as we are recording human fatality, we may not be able to account for the number of businesses that suffer similar fatality from the hands of the pandemic”.
He identified tourism and leisure, aviation and maritime, automotive, construction, real estate, manufacturing, and academia as sectors, which had been affected badly by the pandemic.
He, however, said the medical supply and services chain, food processing and retail, personal and healthcare, ICT, e-commerce and agriculture sectors had actually gained during this season.
Mr Osikoya said the Government had been affected adversely by this virus because it had had to provide various stimulus packages and dole out free cash to support various stakeholders, interest groups, businesses and the vulnerable.
He stated that government had lost income from taxes and had to borrow to re-inflate the economy, noting that some hard decisions had to be taken that was not palatable for the economy such as the closure of airports and other entry points.
Mr Osikoya suggested that business leaders and stakeholders should enter into a “restart” mode to get out of the challenges imposed by the virus.
The webinar brought together leaders from various organisations in the corporate environment in Ghana. The next webinar is slated for Tuesday, June 2, 2020, which would focus on the banking sector.
The series will run for the next six weeks.