A deputy Minister of Information, Mr Perry Kwabla Okudzeto, has asked staff of the Information Services Department (ISD) to be innovative by using the little resources at their disposal to educate the people on policies and programmes of the government.
“We are not going to tolerate the situation where staff of the department collect their monthly salaries and refuse to work for the purpose for which they have been employed with an excuse that they do not have the necessary resources,” he said.
Mr Okudzeto gave the advice during a meeting with staff of state-owned media organisations in Sunyani last Tuesday as part of his visit to the Brong Ahafo Region.
He said even though it was a fact that staff of the ISD needed vans to operate, it would be prudent for them to take advantage of FM radio stations close to them to propagate the government’s agenda to the people at the grass roots.
“From today, there should be a paradigm shift. We must create a platform for the dissemination of government’s programmes and policies to the people.”
Mr Okudzeto minced no words when he stated that “it looks as if you have lost sight of what you were employed to do,” adding that the ministry had asked authorities of the ISD to write to all staff specifying their job descriptions.
He called on staff of the ISD in the regions and districts to collaborate with the various state-owned media houses to ensure that Ghanaians were properly educated on government’s programmes on one hand and feedback to the government on the other.
GBC and GNA
Turning to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Mr Okudzeto called on the staff to assert themselves, since they had the right professionals with more logistics and tools as compared to the private radio and television stations.
“For me, I want a new beginning for us all…we want to make sure that we achieve results and you are the ones to assist us to do so.”
Mr Okudzeto disclosed that GBC needed 23 million euros for retooling, explaining that the ministry had to make a case and see when that amount could be released for such a purpose.
On the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Okudjeto observed that the agency was struggling to keep up with the current technological advancement and proliferation of radio FM stations at all corners of the country.
He said with as much as 350 radio FM stations spread across the country, the GNA needed to redefine itself to enable it to continue to be relevant under the current circumstances.
Mr Okudzeto commended the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for working hard to wean itself from government’s subvention.
He said with the rebranding of the Ghanaian Times, it was expected that efforts would be made to enable it to stand on its feet.
He called on staff of all agencies and departments under the ministry to deliver on their mandate to enable the ministry to achieve its policies and programmes.
The common problems that ran through the discussion during the meeting were lack of means of transport, shortage of staff and lack of the right tools for easy dissemination of information.