A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr James Agyenim- Boateng has given the assurance that the government will ensure the passage of the Right to Information Bill into law to deepen democratic culture in the country.
As a campaign promise made to Ghanaians by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), he said, the bill had received Cabinet approval and was ready to go through the parliamentary processes.
Mr Agyenim Boateng gave the assurance in response to a question when he met the staff of the various agencies and departments under the Ministry of Information at the Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) conference room in Sunyani on Monday.
The meeting formed part of the Deputy Minister’s seven-day tour to the Brong Ahafo Region to obtain first, hand information on the challenges that the sector agencies under the ministry were facing in the discharge of their duties and operations.
Mr Agyenim-Boateng stated further that the Right to Information Bill was not only for the media but the entire populace so the government would ensure its passage since it was aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in governance.
He added that Prof. Mills’ government was committed to transparency and accountability and therefore, the passage of the bill was one of the ways to ensure that public office holders account for their stewardship.
“This government is sparing no efforts to ensure that the bill is passed into law”, he stressed.
Responding to other concerns raised by the Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Charles Koomson and staff of the Information Service Department (ISD) that they had no computers at their regional and district offices, Mr Agyenim Boateng gave the assurance that the government would equip the various agencies under the ministry, especially the ISD and the GNA to effectively disseminate and explain government policies and programmes to the citizenry.
He, therefore, urged the staff of the sector agencies, particularly the ISD and GNA to continue to be innovative in the discharge of their mandate while the government takes the necessary steps to address their operational needs as soon as possible to enable them to be effective and efficient.
Mr Charles Bampoe, the Regional Manager of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), for his part, appealed to the Deputy Minister and the RCC to impress on the various municipal and districts assemblies (MDAs) in the region to subscribe to the company’s regional newspaper for Brong Ahafo and Ashanti, ‘Graphic Nsempa’ to ensure its sustenance on the newsstands.
He added that Graphic Nsempa aimed at affording the MDAs the opportunity to reach out to the people at the grass roots with government policies and programmes.
Mr Albert Adoko, the Regional Editor of Ghana Television (GTV), the state broadcaster said the delay in the showing of news stories on GTV from the region was as a result of the change of the disc being used for news coverage.
He explained further that the previous disc had a time duration of 20 minutes but the current one has a time duration of 80 minutes and until that was exhausted, they could not send the stories that they had covered on the disc to Accra,hence, the delay in airing news stories from the region.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, in his closing remarks called on the staff of the ISD to be abreast of the government policies and programmes of the Better Ghana agenda to enable them disseminate and educate the public, especially those at the grass roots.
That he said, would let the people understand what the government was doing to improve upon their lot and also enable them rally behind the government to achieve the Better Ghana agenda.