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General News | Mar 26, 2004

Woes Of GBC

Daily Guide

The relationship between the crisis-rocked CEO of GBC, Ms. Eva Lokko, and her deputy hit its lowest ebb on Thursday when her deputy was allegedly asked by the Board verbally to resign his post.

Mr Ken Amankwah, the Deputy Director-General, did not agree to the directive because, according to him, his appointment can only be terminated by the National Media Commission (NMC), which employed him. The situation has aggravated the bad condition of the nation's premier broadcasting organisation. The following edited personal statement from Mr Amankwah to the Chairman of the GBC Board of Directors and other relevant personalities speaks volumes about how things have degenerated at GBC.

“Ms Eva Lokko, the Director-General of GBC walked into my office on May 9, 2003. I had a pile of GBC Board files on my desk, and was leafing through one of them. “What are these papers” She enquired. “They are Board minutes”, I answered. She thundered, “You know, you should not be reading them; they are confidential papers. By the way, who gave them to you?”

I could not believe what I was hearing. Here I am, appointed a Deputy Director-General, assumed my post on May 5, 2003, the second in command, and a stand-in at Board meetings in the absence of the Director-General, and I could not inform myself on policy matters at GBC? I smiled anxiously and apologised.

I recall this seminal encounter, because it set the backdrop to all my future relations with the Director-General. She had determined from day one, that I should know nothing about GBC: that will guarantee my ineffectiveness and make me rudderless in the organisation. So, ten months into my assumption of duty at GBC, I have not been given a Job Specification. Anytime I raised the subject, there comes a predicable reply. “You are in-charge of the regions”. But what should be done, why, and to what purpose, I have not been notified.

The D-G has never asked once about my housing arrangements, and yet, when my negotiations failed at the Ministry of Works and housing, and the Estates Department located a rentable private property for me, she refused to give the go ahead. The explanation was that there was no money. But the Estates Department had brokered a fine deal. From the original rental of $1200 a month, the Estates department got it down to $800. The figure was $400 less than my official rent ceiling of $1200. And yet, the D-G stuck to her now familiar mantra, “no money”.

There is no money to do anything in GBC. So we don't have any cars for our news crews, we cannot buy stationery, we cannot repair our broken-down fax machines, photocopiers, airconditioners in sensitive areas like the VTR and Editing suites.

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