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12.03.2009 Politics

Zita: I'm a cabinet Minister

By The Statesman

Sarbah Zita Okaikoi, Minister of Information, has stated that she is considered to be a cabinet Minister in the current President Mills government because she is invited to cabinet meetings.

"I have not been taken out of cabinet; I do attend cabinet meetings,' the Minister stressed.

The Information Minister was reacting to a question by this reporter when she paid a visit to The Statesman, as part of her familiarization tour of the media houses in the capital.

Oboshie Sai Cofie, former Minister of Information and National Orientation in the previous New Patriotic Party government, upon assumption of office, embarked on a similar media tour, where she paid visits to media houses including those perceived to be anti-government then.

The move was hailed by many commentators such as Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing Editor of The Insight.

Asked whether she felt peeved about not being named as a cabinet Minister, Mrs Zita replied, "It's the President"s decision, my dear.'

On the much talk about her being inexperienced, the Minister was of the view that acquisition of knowledge and skills are important considerations for a person to be able to carry out his or her job successfully.

'What do you term inexperience? Well, I have knowledge; inexperience is nothing. If you are going to look for a job and somebody does not give you the experience, how do you move on to get a job?' she wondered.

Interacting with the staff of the paper, the minister expressed her readiness to establish good rapport with members of the fourth estate of the realm, to ensure effective collaboration towards the development of the nation.

She exhorted the media to continue to effectively play their watchdog role in society, especially by keeping those in authority on their toes, and further help to deepen the nation's democratic dispensation.

'Africa looks up to Ghana for every positive conduct as far as the practice of democracy is concerned on the continent.

Let"s all help to maintain the place we occupy in the comity of nations as far as democracy and good governance are concerned,' Mrs Zita advised.

She announced that she had initiated moves to get resources to offer training for media practitioners, as part of efforts to enhance their skills and efficiency.

The minister called on players in the media industry to be fair and objective in the execution of their work, stressing 'let's put the interest of the nation first in every thing we do.'