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16.12.2010 General News

National Media Commission is people's ombudsman - Avoka

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December 16, 2010
Accra, Dec 16, GNA - Mr Cletus Apul Avoka, Majority Leader, said on Wednesday that the National Media Commission (NMC) is the "People's Ombudsman" and lawyer and must be given ample resources to function.

He said the NMC was too centralized and wondered how the NMC, given the numerous media houses dotted around the country, could attend to their needs or address their complaints if it was not adequately resourced.

The Majority Leader was contributing on Monday to debates on the floor of the House to approve budgetary allocation for the NMC.

He called for the decentralization of the NMC to have offices in all the regions to be able to fulfil its mandate effectively.

He noted that the role of the NMC was very crucial for Ghana to have a strong democracy.

He said the proliferation of FM stations across the country expanded the work of the NMC but regretted that the Commission had been reduced to a toothless bulldog because it could not implement its decisions.

Mr Avoka called for the review of the law that established the NMC to give it more powers to enforce its decisions.

Mr Justice Joe Appiah, New Patriotic Member for Ablekumah North, said the NMC must be encouraged to sensitise the new journalists entering into the profession about the ethics of the profession.

He said the NMC as an institution must work closely with the Ministry of Information to educate the masses.

He said the NMC had no permanent structure and called on the government to empower it financially to be able to function well.

He stated that for the media to be very vibrant the NMC must be active, adding that this would in turn strengthen Ghana's democracy.

The House also approved the budget allocations for a number of ministries and departments including the Ministry of Justice which had GH¢20,954,538.00.

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources had GH¢98,337,436.00, whiles the Ministry of Youth and Sports received GH¢45,919,855.00.

The Finance and Economic Planning Ministry received GH¢178,559,490.00, with Ghana Revenue Authority getting GH¢187,259,779.00, and GH¢2,125,293.00 going to the NMC.

The Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare received GH¢34,901,862.00. The National Labour Commission got GH¢810,122.00, whiles the Ministry of Health received GH¢987,475,507.00, with the Environment Science and Technology Ministry receiving GH¢177,443,578.00.


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