The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo committed the Commission’s support for calls for the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to retain part of its Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to support its operations.
He said the Agency’s fortunes would be better if allowed to retain part of the IGF, which would also motivate the Staff to give of their best to maintain its leadership in the media landscape.
Mr Ayeboafo said this during a working visit to the GNA, led by Minister for Information Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
He said the Agency was known for its professionalism and urged the reporters to ‘remain on track’ and shun hearsays.
Mr Ayeboafo commended the Board, Management and Staff for their sacrifices to revamp the organisation amid the challenges, adding that it would better off if allowed to retain part of the IGF.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah, on his part, said the Ministry was aware of the challenges the Agency faced and had started processes towards allowing it to retain part of its IGF to support operations.
He said the Ministry would also engage government and other institutions to provide the needed logistical support to the Agency and tasked the Staff to remain professional.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah pledged his assistance to the Agency to carry out its transformational agenda with focus on economic news.
Professor Olivia Kwapong, the Chairperson of the GNA Board, said the Board had confidence in the Management and Staff of the Agency and would continue to support its efforts at leading the market with credible, unbiased and objective news.
She said some progress had already been made as part of the ongoing efforts at restructuring the GNA’s operations, as it had been able to generate appreciable revenue over a two-year period.
Prof. Kwapong expressed the hope that the Minister would push for the retention of the IGF to boost the operations of the nation’s newswire service provider.
She said another area of concern was the overaged fleet of vehicles, some of which “are 14 years old but are still being used by our staff…,” and pleaded with government to go to the aid of the Agency.
Mrs Cynthia Morrison, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, pledged to advocate for resources to enable the GNA to deliver on its mandate.
She said the Committee’s visit to the Agency had enabled members to appreciate the resource challenge Management and Staff faced adding that it would help in making a case for the Agency.
Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, the General Manager of GNA, said despite the challenges, the Agency had made some gains with the restructuring, which was showing a promise of an organisation ready to deliver on its mandate.
He said the nation’s newswire was poised to taking the commanding lead in the media landscape by providing credible, unbiased and objective news to its growing list of subscribers, both local and global.
Mr Owusu said the organisation had embarked fully on retail news by packaging them to meet the specific needs of select groups and growing young audiences.
He said the needed newsgathering tools, laptops, vehicles and refurbishment of its offices was the priority of the Agency to enhance its fortunes.