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GEXIM inaugurates independent audit committee

BY: Faith Ayorkor Mensah
(From left) Rosemary Beryl Archer, Deputy CEO, Banking, GEXIM;  Philomena Max-Bobie, Hayford Amoh, Catherine Quaidoo, Kwadwo Boateng Genfi, Chairman, GEXIM, Dr Eric Osae, Director-General, IAA, Yaw Nimo-Baffour, Chairman, Audit Committee, Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO, GEXIM, and Nana Akyaa Obeng-Adiyiah, Deputy CEO, F&A, GEXIM
(From left) Rosemary Beryl Archer, Deputy CEO, Banking, GEXIM; Philomena Max-Bobie, Hayford Amoh, Catherine Quaidoo, Kwadwo Boateng Genfi, Chairman, GEXIM, Dr Eric Osae, Director-General, IAA, Yaw Nimo-Baffour, Chairman, Audit Committee, Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO, GEXIM, and Nana Akyaa Obeng-Adiyiah, Deputy CEO, F&A, GEXIM

The Ghana Export-Import Bank (GEXIM) has inaugurated the Internal Audit Committee with a call on members to work together with the board, management and stakeholders of the institution to ensure efficient management of public funds.

The committee is chaired by Yaw Nimo Baffour, a representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG), and has Philomena Max-Bobie and Hayford Amoah, both representatives of the Internal Audit Agency, as members.

The other members are Catherine Quaidoo and Micheal Okyere Baafi, both representatives of the GEXIM board on the committee.

Accountable governance

The Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Dr Eric Oduro Osae, who swore in the five-member committee, pointed out that public financial management systems were key to transparent and accountable governance.

The committee is in accordance with the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act, 2016 (Act 921).

He stated that “a country without an effective public financial management system risks underdevelopment due to loss of public funds.”

Dr Osae added that one of the reasons for the enactment of the PFM Act was to address the risks of underdevelopment and mitigate their impact on the development of the country.

“Among the interventions of the PFM Act is the establishment of an Audit Committee,” he stated.

The director-general stressed that the Audit Committee was very important in the governance of GEXIM and required the support of management and all key stakeholders to ensure the efficient execution of their mandate.

Under the advisory role, Dr Osae said, as experts in their own rights, they were to put their expertise at the disposal of management.

Risk management

He tasked them to support management by being present at entrance and exit meetings of external auditors as they were better placed to respond to and resolve issues with them.

Dr Osae said risk management was critical and as an important national institution, development in the country rested on them and urged members to help implement good risk management systems.

He added that audit committees did not take over the running of organisations, neither did they override the board but worked with management to ensure the organisation delivered on its core mandate.

The director-general charged the committee to develop an Annual Risk-Based-Plan and conduct quarterly Internal Audit reports under the Public Financial Management Act. He further encouraged members to support the Internal Audit to comply with this requirement.

CEO comments

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEXIM, Lawrence Agyinsam, also urged the new members to collaborate with management to achieve the vision of the bank and the expectations of all stakeholders.

Recalling the achievements of the bank in the past five years, he said: “The bank you are all joining today seeks to facilitate the transformation of Ghana’s economy into an export-led one by supporting and developing trade between Ghana and other countries.”

Mr Agyinsam said since 2016, GEXIM had supported various sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and export trade.

He urged the new members to bring on board their expertise and play their mandatory and advisory roles to ensure adequate governance, risk and compliance structures to achieve our goals and objectives.

The Board Chairman of GEXIM, Kwadwo Boateng Genfi, who chaired the occasion, thanked the director-general of the IAA for his insightful address and indicated that he had a lot of confidence in the new members.

He also expressed his gratitude to the outgoing committee for their immense contribution to the growth of the bank.