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06.10.2008 General News

Operations of GNA to be decentralised – Owusu-Ansah

By gna

Operations of Ghana News Agency (GNA) are to be decentralised to make it more vibrant and credible in news gathering and reporting in the country.

Nana Rex Owusu-Ansah, Chairman of Board of Directors of the Agency announced this during a working visit to the Bui Hydro Power project Dam site at Bui in Tain District of Brong-Ahafo Region at the weekend.

The visit was part of a nation-wide outreach programme by the Board to identify problems affecting free flow of information and operations of the Agency.

Nana Owusu-Ansah who is also Krontihene of Wenchi Traditonal Area, the Agency being the only wire service institution in the country, there was the need to find solutions to challenges facing its growth and operations in the rural areas and help identify resources that could be tapped for national development.

He explained that decentralisation of the Agency would make Regional Managers as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Correspondents self-dependent in news gathering and dissemination, more especially online without any interference from the headquarters in Accra.

“This means Regional Managers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District correspondents would also serve as Supervising Chief Editors,” he said.

Nana Owusu-Ansah said as part of the decentralisation process, the Agency would establish internally generated funds at the Regional levels to supplement government's efforts to make the Agency contribute meaningfully towards accelerated national development.

He said plans were underway to increase salaries of staff and be provided with better conditions of service and urged them to exercise restraint and discharge their duties effectively.

Mr Anthony Boye Osafo-Kissi, Resident Site Engineer of Bui Power Authority commended GNA for its tremendous contributions through accurate information on the project.

He said residents in four affected communities had been re-settled and provided with farmlands, solar panel light and funds.

Mr Osafo-Kissi said residents in other three affected communities would be re-settled before the year ends.

He explained that the project was still in its preparatory stage and currently concentrating on the closure of the Black Volta, to pave way for actual work on construction of the dam to begin.

Mr Osafo-Kissi said 800 people were currently engaged in the preparatory stage and by next year the number would increase to about 1,000 to begin with the construction of the dam.

On payment of compensation to affected communities, Mr Osafo-Kissi said the Authority was collaborating with government to take inventory of affected communities and their crops before it would be paid.

He assured communities within the catchment area of excellent compensation package and warned estate developers not to encroach and purchase lands from chiefs in the area.