By Billy Rwothungeyo
Companies operating in Uganda have been urged to embrace enterprise governance principles to enhance their reputation and boost their growth.
“There are situations where owners of companies act like the board of directors and management,” said Keith Kalyegira, the CEO of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
“Such companies end up defaulting on commercial and statutory obligations such as paying NSSF and taxes. These eventually catch up with them and some end up closing because of poor governance practices,” he added.
Kalyegira was opening the third annual directors and company secretaries’ conference at Protea Hotel in Kampala.
Alison Kibirige, the chair of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) Uganda, stressed that there is a difference between corporate governance and enterprise governance.
Kibirige said enterprise governance applies to every kind of organisation, not just companies which is the case with corporate governance. So if you run a school, hospital or faith based organisation, then you better begin thinking about this seriously,”
Patrick Bitature, a businessman, said enterprise governance should be a habit in a firm. “When you put up a logo out there, it does not mean much unless it has got a set of values behind it,” he said.
He alluded to why many businesses in Uganda fail: “The biggest cry I hear in Uganda, especially regarding small and medium enterprises, is that capital is the biggest impediment to success. But it is more about the companies and the structures they have in place.”
Former finance minister, Gerald Sendaula, said the image of an organisation rests on how it goes about its governance issues.