Ministry, NMC in Tango

The Chronicle has picked up signals that suggest that a show down is looming between the Ministry of Information and the National media Commission (NMC) over the Committee set up to help identify the reasons for the increasing inability of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to fulfill its obligations to viewers. The Chronicle picked up signals that the NMC, chaired by Paul Adu Gyamfi and Executive Secretary, George Sarpong, are unhappy with the Ministry’s last meeting with management of GBC, following their inability to telecast President John Atta Mills’ address to the recent UN General Assembly. This was despite the fact that GBC television network, Ghana Television, extensively promoted that it will give a live broadcast of the address. Following the meeting, it was agreed that a Committee be put together, including representatives of GBC, to find out what the cause of GTV’s problems are. The Ministry had in an earlier statement mentioned the poor signals from the President Barack Obama address to parliament which was carried live on GTV, and the failure to telecast two Black Stars friendly games in the UK and Holland. While Chronicle sources say GBC has welcomed the formation of the Committee, because of their worry over their increasing blunders, the NMC has, however, threatened the Ministry to dissolve the Committee or risk a showdown with them. The NMC’s threat has been communicated to the Ministry, but the Chronicle’s checks from a source, has rubbished the NMC’s threat, insisting that the Ministry’s action does not amount to political interference, as the NMC will want to suggest. Sources within government and the GBC, say they find the NMC’s position untenable because the committee will help unravel the mystery surrounding what may seem like a technical problem. We have had to apologise to the people of Ghana over the poor quality pictures during President Barrack Obama’s visit, the inability to show the two Black Stars’ matches and now UN General Assembly. We are shocked at the position taken by the NMC over this matter, a source at the GBC told newsmen. What is political interference? Under President Kufuor, the GBC telecast most of the significant foreign assignments without hitches, and the GBC is obliged to do a similar thing for President Mills. This is because it is the same tax payers’ money that is being used to run the GBC, the source stated. Meanwhile, the Chronicle also gathered the Ministry of Information has equally snubbed the NMC’s subtle threats. According to sources at the Ministry, they are prepared to confront the NMC, and that they would not budge from their position. Even the GBC boss and his staff are baffled over the developments and expressed their worry over what is happening, a source at the GBC hinted. The Ministry source also indicated that the NMC Chairman and his Executive Secretary are only out to engage in a political turf game, which the government is not interested in.