All five directors of the National Communications Authority (NCA) present at the launch of a report on consumer satisfaction of mobile phone users across the country, choked on their words when journalists demanded to know the cost of the research.
The Cellular Mobile Consumer Satisfaction Survey was commissioned by the NCA, and conducted by an independent research company to determine the perception of mobile phone users, with regard to the services they receive from their service providers. There are plans for another research next year.
The NCA officials present at the function were Mrs. Nana Defie Badu, Director Consumer Corporate Affairs; Mr. Kwame Baah-Acheamfuor, Principal Manager, Regulatory Administration; Mr. Victor Teppeh, Chief Manager, Research and Planning; Mr. Patrick John Laryea, Deputy Director, Regional Administration; Mr. Mawuko Zormelo, Deputy Director, Consumer and Corporate Affairs.
Journalists, during question time, asked the NCA to make public how much the survey cost the tax payer, but that was not a question any of the four directors present had answers to.
Pressed further for answers, and suggestions made by journalist to the effect that the directors were “running away” from the question of the cost of the project, all the four directors, almost in a chorus, said, “we are not running away from the question.”
Mr. Mawuko Zormelo, Deputy Director, Consumer and Corporate Affairs, who was then with the microphone, pulled a surprise question, “but is that the reason why we came here?”
“erm, erm, we don’t have the figure here, number one. Number two, it was funded by the regulator,”
“So how much did it cost the regulator,” this reporter interjected?
This reporter further suggested to Mr Zormelo that, at least, not all of his colleagues may have been kept in the dark on the cost of the project, as he wanted us to believe.
“I am sure that if my bosses have the figure, why should they hide it from you.” Mr. Zormelo said in response. He, however, suggested those keen on knowing the actual cost of the project should go the NCA office for that information.
Mrs. Nana Defie Badu, Director Consumer Corporate Affairs, who found the journalists interest in knowing the cost element of the research “interesting” had this to say: “I think what you are saying is very interesting, but what I want to stress on is that our main purpose for this event was to showcase consumer perception of the mobile service, and the services they are receiving from the network operators. We did not come here with any information regarding the cost of the project.”
It is common practice for government entities especially to keep cost elements of projects undertaken with the tax payers’ money from public view.
It is widely perceived that such a practice breeds corruption, hence the general push for transparency on how the taxpayers’ money is spent by the state.
Source: The Chronicle
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