The Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) and the Ghana Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors (GARIA) has inducted 166 new members as licensed Insolvency Practitioners (IPs).
The ceremony, which is its second cohort induction was in partnership with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Attorney General’s Department.
The induction formed part of ORC and GARIA’s objectives to provide a forum for practitioners to engage in business recovery and insolvency practice.
Madam Jemima Oware, the Registrar of Companies, said there was the need for inter-agency collaboration across the financial spectrum such as the banking, accounting, taxation, insurance and securities, as well as the judiciary, to promote efficiency in the application of the Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Act (CIRA).
“It is going to offer greater ability to respond to the local needs of distressed companies, address crossover problems, and will clarify and improve the role definition of each of these agencies, especially when creditors and other claimants initiate a charge against a distressed company,” she explained.
Madam Oware said the review of the CIRA regulations was still ongoing, as the Legal Committee of the Company of the Registrar had requested additional work from the consultant.
“The aim is to ensure that key stakeholders review and approve the regulation before it is passed by parliament to improve the work of insolvency practitioners,” she added.
The Registrar of Companies confirmed that the ORC was close to finalising and approving the strategy document, which would make the ORC self-financing to carry out its mandate, which included the establishment of an Insolvency Service Division to regulate IPs for the first time.
Mr George Fosu, Chief Executive Officer of GARIA, said the induction ceremony was part of the Association’s broader objective to equip IPs with the essential core competencies required to assist businesses and organisations.
He emphasised that current training and education of insolvency practitioners needed improvement, particularly in terms of business modelling, strategy, and corporate balance sheet restructuring.
“This ceremony is essential in laying a solid foundation for the inductees to develop the skills and knowledge to assist distressed organisations in managing their businesses, property, and affairs,” Mr Fosu added.
He said the ceremony was aimed at raising awareness among businesses across the country about the availability of specialised professionals, who could aid, particularly in the current challenging economic climate.
Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, Minister for Justice and Attorney General, encouraged the IPs to prioritise saving distressed companies.
He said the primary objective when dealing with struggling businesses should not be liquidation, instead, efforts should be made to rescue and preserve distressed viable companies whenever possible, considering the impact on employment and other factors.
“Where a business can be saved by restructuring, every effort should be made by skilled professionals to save it by restructuring it, therefore there is now the need to encourage lawyers, accountants, and bankers to take an interest in the restructuring profession,” he added.
Madam Sophia Akuffo, Former Chief Justice, commended the inductees for their perseverance and diligence in reaching that milestone and advised practitioners to maintain strong morals and values for pillars of success in their respective fields.
Madam Akuffo emphasised that the character of an IP mattered to the stakeholders they represented, as effective institutions were built on well-rooted value systems.
“Your profession is placed in the engine room of our economy, you must raise yourself and be heard on issues concerning the economy, company rescue, and the efficiency of insolvency practice,” she stressed.
Mr Elliot Amoako, Head of Resolution Office, BoG said though the Bank operated in a specialised segment, the Bank would not hesitate to seek the assistance of licensed insolvency practitioners should the need arise.
He encouraged the IPs to stay informed about global developments, as increasing levels of globalisation meant that events occurring in other parts of the world could have local consequences.