NMC cries for resources
By Maxwell Ofori
The National Media Commission (NMC) has pleaded with the government to provide it with resources for the effective discharge of its constitutional mandate.
The Chairman of the NMC, Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, who made the appeal, said the numerous media stations in the country place an enormous responsibility on the Board.
According to him, the Commission is seriously under resourced, making it practically impossible to monitor effectively media output in the country.
“One of the things that we require as a regulatory body is a mechanism for the sustainable and effective monitoring of media output.
“From NMC account, we have close to 300 radio stations. That is a very enormous responsibility and therefore, an effective monitoring system is very critical,” he told President Akufo-Addo yesterday, when the Board paid a courtesy call on him at Jubilee House.
It would be recalled that The Chronicle, in its Wednesday, November 6, 2019 edition, reported that the NMC was under resourced. The report, which came from Parliament, saw members of the House urging the government to support the institution.
Meanwhile, Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh has also stated the need for the government and the NMC to look at how the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) could be turned into a true public broadcaster.
“We have set up a committee that we think can be entrusted with the responsibility of looking at how to restructure GBC and make it the public broadcaster that we are looking for. Tentatively, Elizabeth Ohene is the one we have penned down to chair that committee,” Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh said.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo welcomed the call to reform GBC. “I find it anomalous that in a democracy, a multi-party state, that you have the concept of state media. The possibility of that media being an instrument for party propaganda in a multi-party state is very strong. To the extent that you are concerned about having a proper definition of the role of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, I think those concerns are well founded and well placed.”
He said to the Board that every effort should be made to assist them to proceed with the review, describing as a legitimate request, the call to resource the NMC to effectively monitor the media.
He further assured the NMC Chairman and his Board that his administration would consider the request for resources and carry out the appropriate budgetary allocation for same.
The National Media Commission is a Government of Ghana agency mandated with the responsibility of registering, regulating and monitoring the activities of media houses in Ghana. The National Media Commission was set up on July 7th, 1993 by an Act of Parliament, National Media Commission Act 1993, Act 449 in pursuit of the provisions of the Chapter 12 of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, which enjoined, among others, to take all measures to ensure the establishment and maintenance of the highest journalistic standards on mass media, including investigation, mediation and settlement of complaints made against or by the press or other mass media.
GIISDC Board Inaugurated
In other news, President Akufo-Addo later yesterday, sworn in a governing board for the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDC), with a charged to ensure that the exploitation of iron ore and steel deposits of the country are carried out in a manner that will fully benefit the people of Ghana.
“In several other areas, whether it is gold or diamond or whatever, our direct take from them is largely minimal and nominal. We want to change that narrative and that is why we have brought the nine of you together to spearhead this new era in the country’s development.
“You can imagine the significance of Ghana being able to produce steel itself without having to import it or depend on others. You can imagine the implications that will have in driving the industrial development of our nation,” the President added.
The nine-member Governing Board has Prince Andani Imoro, as its Chairperson. Other members are Kwabena Bonsu Fordwor, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, Augustus Kwasi Adu, Representative from Ministry of Finance, Matthew Tawiah Ababio, Representative from Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Patrick Yaw Nimo Representative from Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The rest are Kwaku Addai Antwi-Boasiako, Chief Executive Officer of Minerals Commission, John Ntim Fordjour, Kwamina Archer Frimpong and Ms. Hanifa Yahaya (the only female member of the Board).