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19.02.2009 Politics

I am ready for the media bashing – Zita

By gna

Mrs Sabah Zita Okaikoi, Minister-designate for Information, on Wednesday said she considered “media bashing” as part of the political terrain generally and particularly with the Ministry of Information, saying “I am ready for it.”

She told the Parliamentary Appointments Committee that she considered the media as an integral part of Ghana's democracy and would therefore maintain an open door policy with the media in spite of some differences that might arise.

“I am willing to give and take advice from the media as and when necessary,” she said.

Mrs Okaikoi 33, a lawyer, assured the committee that if given the nod, she would focus on sensitizing the public on the need for national cohesion to rally the public round the government for development.

She said the work of government spokespersons and press secretaries, would be separated from that of the Ministry of Information, saying the Ministry would focus on its policy formulation duties and make effective use of the Information Service Department (ISD) to foster national unity and create awareness on government policies and programmes.

“I will separate the work of the Ministry from politics,” she said.

Mrs Okaikoi noted that there seemed to be an overlap in the roles of the ISD and National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), saying under her stewardship, she would ensure roles of the two institutions were properly defined to ensure efficiency and judicious use of resources.

She assured rural dwellers that she would ensure they were provided with community radios to keep them informed on national issues.

The committee invited Mr Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister-designate but postponed his vetting to Friday.

Mr Woyongo's vetting was suspended about a week ago because of some inconsistencies in his responses to questions and was asked to re-appear on Wednesday.