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01.08.2005 Regional News

Minister assures C/R GNA office of a means of transport


Cape Coast, Aug. 1, GNA- Mr Dan Botwe, Minister of Information, on Monday, assured the Central Regional office of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that his ministry would do its best to provide it with a means of transport and a fax machine, to enable the Agency give a wider coverage of the region, as well as facilitate the transmission of news.

The Minister, who was responding to a request made by Ms. Hilda Abban, Regional Manager of GNA, during his visit to the office at Cape Coast, said he was "surprised" that all the regional offices of the Agency have been without vehicles for the past 20 years.

Mr. Botwe was in the office at the start of a three-day visit to the region to acquaint himself with the work of media houses and other establishments under his ministry.

The Minister is also expected to address staff of the Twifo-Hemang lower and Upper-Denkyira, and Gomoa districts assemblies, during his visit.

He underscored the importance of GNA and said it was imperative that it was assisted to enable it to give of its best, especially in the districts, where it is virtually the only media house operating there. Ms Abban, for her part, expressed gratitude to the Minister for his concern and hoped that his promise would be fulfilled.

At the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) office, the Regional Director, Mr Kwabena Sarpong-Anane appealed to the Minister to prevail upon the authorities to consider an upward review of the current TV license fee of three thousand cedis, "to reflect the realities of the time."

He also stated that lack of transport was militating against the ability of his outfit to give adequate press coverage to the region. Replying, Mr Botwe said 22 vehicles would be made available to the corporation as part of a package for the corporation to solve the transportation problem facing it.

He explained that as measures being put in place by government to assist the Corporation to improve upon its services, every regional office would have two TV cameras, and that plans were also far advanced to improve the salary and other conditions of service.

He admitted that the current TV license fee was "too meagre", but said there was the need for GBC to also improve upon TV reception before any meaningful discussion on the increase could begin.

At the Graphic Communications Group of Companies Limited, Mr Botwe commended them for their hard work, which enabled the company to pay a huge dividend to the government and urged them to keep it up. At the New Times office he also assured them that the government was doing its best to assist them.

Nana Ato Arthur, deputy Regional Minister, who was among the Minister's entourage, also commended them, but urged them to focus more on the districts in their coverage of the regional diary. Mr. Ebenezer Awuku, deputy Director of the Information Services Department accompanied the Minister.