General News of Saturday, 27 October 2018
Information minister-designate, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has suggested before Parliament’s Appointment Committee that, until the New Patriotic Party (NPP), took over office, there was nothing like an Information Ministry.
Answering a question posed by a member of the committee, Barbra Ayisi Boateng, the nominee said, as at 7th January, 2017, there was no Information Ministry’’.
According to him, when his former boss, Dr. Mustapha Hamid took over office, “the first thing was to literally build a ministry. We built the structures, put the departments in place and got it to a level where,’’ we find it today.
He added, “under this new structure, you could start getting information and putting it out there. We have come a very long way from,’’ the past.
He underscored the need for to improve the rate at which we get information from the ministries, departments and agencies.
“The truth is that, if you do not have the information, you will not be able to proactively put it out. And so, in accordance with the strategic plan as I mentioned, we are getting to the next step which is to getting the PROs of the ministries retained, retooled, gingered up and developing clear channels where on a week by week basis, they can channel to us the policies and programmes that are going on in their ministries so that, we are appraised of it and then now our job is to develop the channels or platforms to put it out,’’ he said.
One major issue that also came up at the vetting was misinformation and misreporting where chair of the committee and First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu bitterly complained about how a media house mischievously reported an interview he had with him.
The nominee was asked how he intends resolving the issue and in answering he said, he is a firm believer of building capacity but was worried some individuals use headlines not in connection with the story.
He admonished the media to be accurate in quoting because the “headline is part’’ of the story.
Politicians he said are usually happy when they see a headline that paints their opponents bad without reflecting it could be done to them.