THE Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has called on staff of the Information Services Department (ISD), especially Metropolitan, Municipal and District Information Officers (MMDICs) to disseminate government policies and programmes to the people.
He said such vital information must be intensified at the grass-roots level to enable people to understand and appreciate what the government had done since it assumed power in 2001.
Mr Asamoah Boateng made the call when he met with the staff of the ISD and municipal and district chief executives (MDCEs) in the Brong Ahafo Region in Sunyani, as part of his five-day working visit to interact with them and find out how the government’s information machinery could be strengthened at the grass-roots level.
According to him, the government had chalked up remarkable successes within its seven-and-a-half-year rule, but information flow to the people at the grass roots had been slow.
The situation, Mr Asamoah-Boateng said, had paved the way for detractors of the government to wage a relentless vile propaganda to discredit it in the eyes of the people.
He, therefore, charged all information officers to put their act together and educate the people on the government's achievements, as well as its policies and programmes such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, the School Feeding Programme, the Capitation Grant, among others, which were aimed at alleviating poverty level of the ordinary Ghanaian.
He urged the staff of the ISD not to be distracted by the lies being peddled about the government, but always endeavour to discharge their duties in a professional manner, devoid of any political colouring.
“You must endeavour to speak the truth always and present the facts as they are, but not to allow your partisan interest to influence your work.”
Mr Asamoah-Boateng noted that the Ghanaian economy was resilient and, therefore, it was able to withstand the recent surge in crude oil prices and food items globally.
He said the government was concerned about the increase in world market prices of crude oil and its negative impact on the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian that was why it had put in place several interventions to mitigate the impact on the people.
The minister, however, noted that the government’s move had been politicised. He, therefore, urged the information officers to go to the people and tell them the facts about what the government had done to mitigate the effects of the global problem.
He charged the information officers to leave the partisan aspect to the politicians and focus on real issues to enable the people to appreciate and understand the interventions announced by the President to mitigate the impact of the global problem on them.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng mentioned some of the interventions of mitigating the impact of the rising cost of crude oil on the world market as the reduction in the prices of some petroleum products such as kerosene, diesel and pre-mix fuel.
He added that what was left now was a reduction in the prices of imported rice, which the importers had agreed to do.
According to Mr Asamoah-Boateng, the government was also supporting local rice farmers to produce 53,000 metric tonnes of rice by the close of the year, and increase the production figure to 103,300 metric tonnes within the next two to three years.
He called for a cordial relationship between information officers and the MDCEs to ensure the dissemination of government policies and programmes to the people at the local level.
He pledged that the ministry would provide them with the necessary logistics to enable them discharge their duties efficiently.