Corporate governance code for govt firms soon

By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: Jan. 9 – A code of corporate governance, in line with international practice, is to be developed soon for government companies in Oman. An agreement in this regard was signed between the Ministry of Finance and Oman Centre for Governance and Stability (OCGS). According to Sayyid Hamid Sultan al Busaidy, Executive Director of OCGS, the Sultanate has a prominent position in corporate governance with regard to the companies listed on the local bourse, thanks to the procedures adopted by the Capital Market Authority.
It is high time that such practices were followed by other companies, including the government entities, so that their contribution to the national economy could be enhanced, Sayyid Hamid said.
“The ministry wants all companies in Oman, especially investments institutions, to follow the best administrative practices to enhance efficiency, surveillance and transparency,” he said.
According to him, the government companies should play a supporting role for developing comprehensive plans through real contribution in economic diversification.
“This should be in addition to helping accommodate more job-seekers as indicated in the 2017 budget,” he said.
The agreement was signed on behalf of OCGS by Abdullah Salim al Salmi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and for the Ministry of Finance by Nasser Khamis al Jashmi, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
According to Sayyid Hamid, there are more than 60 government-owned companies in the country.
The projected profits in shares and capital of the government companies are estimated to be RO 200 million.
“The need for a corporate governance code has become a must especially in view of the government’s diversification plans. This is one of the recommendations of the recent Tanfeedh programme,” he said.
The Tanfeedh labs have identified a number of projects and initiatives for economic diversification in three major sectors, namely tourism, manufacturing, and transport and logistics services.
OCGS is a non-profitable administrative institution set up to provide services such as preparing manuals and codes of governance and sustainability to companies in the Sultanate.
So far, the institution has trained more than 300 directors of government and private companies.
The training programmes are professionally prepared by International Financing Corporation and the World Bank.