At the end of July, Alassane Ouattara decided to once again strengthen the supervision of the presidency over public companies. According to our information, he sent his representatives on the supervisory and administrative boards of the latter a series of guidelines aimed at improving “the governance of state structures”.
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In a note sent on July 27, the administrators and other general managers of state-owned companies are thus invited to submit to the Chairman, at the end of each quarter, a document summarizing the company’s financial situation and, where applicable, the state of the measures implemented to improve it.
In the same letter, it is indicated that the representatives of the State are required to communicate to the Presidency of the Republic the agenda of the board meetings at least eight days before they are held. These communications will be centralized at the presidential palace.
New audits to come
According to our sources, the Head of State has complained on several occasions since the beginning of 2022, during the Council of Ministers, of the poor health of several public companies, taking the Prime Minister to witness, Patrick Achi, and members of the government. Several public companies are indeed victims of an abysmal debt, like the Road Maintenance Fund (FER) – which can no longer pay its service providers – or Côte d’Ivoire Energies, which has a debt of more than 1,500 billion CFA francs.
According to our information, Alassane Ouattara believes that the ministers do not sufficiently report information concerning state companies. Determined to send a message of good governance to donors and foreign investors, the President has regularly complained that the communications from the General Directorate of the State Portfolio, read in the Council of Ministers by the Minister of the Budget Moussa Sanogodid not reflect the reality of companies.
In 2021, after a series of audits, Alassane Ouattara had dismissed or suspended several incriminated general managers and caciques of the presidential party, the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) – in particular Bilé Diéméléou (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) or Coulibaly Lamine (Land Management Agency). According to our information, new audits have been scheduled in several companies of state.