“Transformation Of GBC Will Not Lie In Hands/Mouth Of One Board Chairman Or Minister"- Kojo Nkrumah
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has reminded staff of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the oldest serving state-owned broadcaster, that transformation of their media house will not lie in the hands or mouth of one board chairman or minister.
According to him, it will take a collective effort to ensure a perfect transformation.
Speaking at a staff durbar at GBC House in Accra, he said "My dear brothers and sisters, transformation of a public entity like GBC will not lie in the hands or mouth on one board chairman or one minister, it takes a collective effort. Let us tell ourselves some truth here, we know that in dealing with GBC in particular, if you are not careful and you get into an entanglement with unions, etc, nothing will be achieved. True or False? I like to be open and clear and straight forward with you here. You will notice that in my last term and even in this term, I have adopted a strategy that state-owned media are independent and a no-go areas for politicians. If I am coming to visit or to engage with you, I will not do so with the National Media Commission at the table"
The Minister also challenged the staff to adopt a certain attitude of working with all stakeholders to improve the system adding that it ought not to be 'we' against 'them'.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said "We must agree that we are in a difficult situation together. I don't like what I see at GBC. 31-year-old fire raided building still sitting there with doors locked. Whatever reasons, I don't know. You have wooden building on your premises, empty dilapidated, they are health hazards. You have, I dare say squatters even on your premises but you are an independent entity more or less, I can't come in and bulldoze my way in and start making those transformational changes you are looking, you yourselves will go on a demonstration against me, true or false?"
The Ofoase Ayirebi MP however hinted that it will be important for government together with leadership and staff of GBC sit together, and agree that they want to transform the media house.
He tasked the yet-to-be set-up committee will agree on what the staff wants to do with the future of GBC and how much it will cost.
"I am sure when you see your colleagues at Graphic, you are happy? GBC can even do better than Graphic. With what the Ghana News Agency is putting on the table, if you start seeing a GNA channel on whether DSTV or other platforms, that are leading Economic and Business News like that of CMBC Africa is doing and pushing, I am sure you would want to be better than them. But it takes a certain opening up, and admission that you want to work together to transform the organization and that is the kind of partnership, I am looking for"
Ranking Member on Communications In Parliament, A.B.A Fuseini said "I have seen the excruciating conditions under which our colleagues work and so you don't show an indigene the way to his house. So the Communications Committee has been very sympathetic and like the Minister said the fundamental problem is that GBC today, is like a bat, it is not a mammal or even a bird"
Speaking on the budget, he said "The budget is brought from the Ministry after the Ministry and GBC Management have sat down and decided on what goes into the budget"
He appealed to the staff and management do their best in making the state-owned media remain the nation's trusted voice.
In an exclusive interview with Thinknewsonline.com, Director General of GBC, Professor Aminu Alhassan Ph.D. said "I am optimistic because, I have the backing of the staff, union, management and the board that we are unto something good. So far, the progresses we have chalked, we have started increasing our revenue, we have started investing in our infrastructure, we have acquired new vehicles for the staff, we have invested in studio modernization and we are still doing more."
Professor Alhassan PhD revealed that within the next two weeks, GBC will be commissioning a new studio which has robotic cameras adding that all these and more gives the staff hope.
He also admitted that the first few months in GBC were tough, he communicated that to the staff of which they know where the management is taking them to.
"I am optimistic that GBC will rise again, GBC will shine. We don't compete with anybody. We are the only public service broadcasting service in the country and we have no competitor" he noted.
The Director General also praised the oldest state-owned broadcaster for introducing Ghana Learning two weeks after President Akufo-Addo ordered for the shut-down of schools across the country due to the rise in covid-19 cases.
"Two weeks, GBC launched a 24-hour tv station with 100% GES curriculum, no commercials and we are running it till today. The content is provided by GES and GBC just does the transmission. Within two weeks of shutting down schools, we brought the classroom to the tv screens serving kindergarten to senior high school. So this is not the job of a private broadcaster. Today, Ghana Learning radio is across the country on several of our FM stations, we are running Ghana Learning radio for people to learn. It is to support the challenges on our educational system" he noted.
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Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith