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Pursue aggressive digital transformation - Minister charges Graphic

BY: Kweku Zurek
Pursue an aggressive digital transformation - Minister charges Graphic
Pursue an aggressive digital transformation - Minister charges Graphic. PICTURES BY EBOW HANSON

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has charged the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) to pursue an aggressive digital transformation which will make it best-placed to take advantage of future opportunities in the media industry.

Applauding Graphic for the strides it had already made in the digital space with its website - www.graphic.com.gh - and the Graphic News App, Graphic NewsPlus, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said more efforts must be made to boost its digital growth.

The Minister said this when he paid a working visit to the GCGL and interacted with the Board of Directors, Management and Staff.

He was accompanied on the visit by the Chairman of the National Media Commission, Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications and the Member of Parliament for Agona West, Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison and the Deputy Minister-designate for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar.

"As I am sure you are aware, the media landscape continues to change as a result of technology and today all over the world, the newspaper industry is facing its challenges," Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said.

"You have done well by having a subsidiary that does well in bringing in significant revenues to shore up the other fronts but beyond that, the conversation of how you will also take full advantage of the digital space is one that is yet to be fully achieved.

"However, it is obvious that a lot more can be achieved with your digital or online operations than is being achieved currently because the future may not necessarily lie with hardcopy and the aggression and speed with which you are able to venture and claim territory in the digital space is what will determine how sustainable your operation will be moving forward.

"Today, we celebrate you and applaud you but if you are not quick and strong enough to take full advantage of the digital openings and opportunities in the digital space, who knows, you may fall behind like some of your other colleagues who are trying to catch-up".

He also commended the company for being a model state-owned company in terms of it's self-sufficiency and the quality of its work.

Mr Oppong-Nkrumah added that the Ministry of Information was committed to supporting the GCGL to achieve its target.

Print advantage

The Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful said the company had already embraced the challenge to make its digital offerings central to its operations.

He said the company is taking advantage of its print advantage to finance its digital operations.

The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh said the visit of the Minister follows a meeting with the NMC board about the relationship between the Ministry and the state-owned media.

Mr Ayeboafoh also called for greater collaboration between the Ministry and state-owned media.

Subscriptions

Mr Ayeboafoh, a former Director of News of the GCGL also bemoaned the incidence of state agencies and public institutions cancelling their subscriptions of the Daily Graphic after the company demands its payment.

He also appealed to the Ministry to aid the company meet its dividend obligations to the government by helping it to increase subscriptions and collect its debts from state agencies.

He said although the company does not require budgetary support, there was a need for all public agencies to pay for their subscriptions.

"Help Graphic not just to collect the debt that public institutions owe but for instance, if all our missions were subscribing copies, when people visit our missions they will get genuine information and not from the grapevine".

The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications and the Member of Parliament for Agona West, Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison advised the company to place companies who owe the company on a pre-payment structure to improve the liquidity of the company.

She urged the management "to keep up the good work" and assured that the Committee would be on hand to assist the GCGL when the need arises.

Collaboration

On his part, the Chairman of the Board of the GCGL, Professor Kwame Karikari called for greater collaboration between the GCGL and the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state to inform the public about government projects.

He said the GCGL Board had in place a sub-committee that was coming up with strategies to boost the company's digital transformation.

Prof Karikari said the new management had put in place new strategies to ensure that the company make profits and pay dividends to the company.

On his part, the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah appealed to the Minister to continue to partner the GCGL to churn out accurate information.