Minister of Information Hon. Kojo Opong Nkrumah held an engagement with media personnel in Savannah Region to interact with them on government’s policies and issues affecting the media in Savannah Region.
In his address, Hon Kojo Opong Nkrumah said the Akufu Addo administration is very committed to doing a number of things to ensure that the media which is the fourth arm of government works well.
According to him, looking at the previous constitutions of Ghana, not all of them has the same rights for citizens and various groups like the 1992 constitution. In the 1992 constitution among other things, there is a chapter 12 which provides for freedom of the media that comes after freedom of thought, freedom of expression, then the freedom of the media which provides the independence and the guarantee for the media to do their work and to do it well because the media is essential for democracy to function.
“NPP administration over the years invested in deepening the freedom for the people of this country and so you will recall that the Kuffuor administration evoked the criminal libel law” the minister said.
He added that the Akufu Addo administration have added a step further to ensure that journalist get assess to information from public offices not at the whims and caprices of any person but as a matter of rights by passing the the right to information Bill.
“Just last week in Accra we opened the office for the coordinated mechanism for the security of journalist. A single place where journalist can make a report if they feel for any reason that they have been threatened or attacked in line of their work” this is to ensure that journalist are protected in order to do their work without fear of being attacked. the minister said.
The Minister of Information Hon Kojo Opong Nkrumah also added that there is a conversation going round that there is a culture of silence in the country but he was quick to assure that journalist can feel free to go about their work because the evidence on the table shows clearly the various layers the Akufu Addo administration have added to show that the freedom of expression is deepened.
According to the Information Minister those who are claiming that there is a culture of silence in the country are those who cannot stand it when they speak and someone criticises them and then they turn to rather argue that by disagreeing with them, you have attacked them and you have sought to silence them.
The Information Minister used the opportunity to admonish the media in Savannah Region to promote a good image of the new region.
He said there are still some journalist who believe that the way of journalism is to tell the saddest or the most gorry story from their home town or coverage area but while journalism includes holding duty bearers accountable and drawing attention to the ills of society, it also includes promoting your community and your country so that you can attract among other things the investment and tourism that we are looking for.
“Savannah Region have Fantastic tourists potential and that is the potential you should promote” the minister told Savannah Region media personnel.
Talking about issues that affected the growth of the country, Hon Kojo Opong Nkrumah disclosed that we are not in ordinary times indicating that COVID-19 pandemic has affected the nation significantly especially on the economic front and the many things that the government desire and seek to do are constraint because COVID has had a huge impact on the economy.
According him, growth dwindled of about 7%, national revenues not coming as expected, expenditures ballooning and so borrowing has to go up a little.
“We’ve hit about 11% deficit and we have to bring it down. What it means is that we are at a moment of collective responsibility that we have to be each others keepers that we all have to contribute to the resolution of the challenge that is ahead of us” the Minister said.
The Information Minister concluded by praying the media men in Savannah Region to educate the public that the times in which we are, are not normal whether for the economy or for the health and even for security and that it is important for all of us to contribute a bit more than we traditionally do to the resolution of the changes that are ahead of us .