Final draft of Broadcasting Bill ready for cabinet consideration – Minister of Information

Final draft of Broadcasting Bill ready for cabinet consideration - Minister of Information

Ms. Fatima Abubakar, the Minister of Information, says the final draft of the Broadcasting Bill is ready for consideration by Cabinet.

The Minister said the 's Office has completed work on the Bill, following successful reviews and validation by various stakeholders.

Ms Abubakar gave the update when she paid a working visit to the in on Wednesday and interacted with the Board and Management of the Agency.

The revised Broadcasting Bill, which was drafted in 2012, seeks to provide comprehensive legislation on broadcasting services regulated by the (NMC) and the (NCA) in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

Ms. Abubakar expressed confidence that the Bill would be laid before this year, and rallied the media to lead advocacy to expedite action on its passage.

She said the Bill would offer clarity on the regulatory environment regarding the roles of the NCA and the NMC and provide guidelines for and digital broadcasting content.

“We really need the Bill passed into law so that we have clarity on the regulatory framework guiding our work. The NCA working under the enabling Act, and NMC under the mandate granted by the Constitution, and sometimes you do not know when their work complement each other and when a particular institution is given priority over the other,” she said.

“I am confident that the Bill has made provision for new media and emergence of digital broadcasting content and also protect children,” the Minister added.

Ms Abubakar mentioned the Coordinated Mechanism on Safety of Journalists (CMSJ) and the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) as some key programmes undertaken by the Ministry to support the work of journalists.

She encouraged media outlets to take advantage of Ghana being the host of the Regional Office for International Fund for Public Interest Media and apply for support to retool and enhance their operations.

The Board of the GNA expressed gratitude to the Minister for the visit and appealed to her to advocate for the Agency to retain 100 per cent of its Internally Generated Fund to support its operations.

The Board also appealed to Ms Abubakar to make a case for the provision of adequate resources and logistics for state-owned media to effectively deliver on their mandate.

Mr Ransford Tetteh, the Board Chairman, GNA, said Agency should be prioritised by the Government as the nation's only newswire service.

“We appeal to you to get Cabinet to accept the unique role of the nation's wire service so that information can be well disseminated to the people of Ghana,” he said.

Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, the General Manager, GNA, said the Agency had commenced diversification of its operations by venturing into the digital space.

He said the Agency was in the process of acquiring equipment to produce audio-visual content for television and radio stations and online portals.

He appealed to the for funding support to facilitate the digitisation agenda and improve the status of the Agency's regional offices.

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