Speaker urges closer ties with media

Prof. Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament

Prof. Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament

Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has called for a closer relationship between the media and the House to ensure the public is well served with the information from the legislature.

According to him, there seems to be a gap between the media and the legislature which had resulted in the misconception of the duties of law makers.

In his first encounter with the media in Parliament yesterday, Professor Oquaye said, the legislature must be more responsive in keeping constant communication with the electorate.

Parliament, he said, belongs to the people and that it was important members accounted to the people via the media and other platforms regularly and efficiently.

This, he said, brings into sharp focus the need to sharpen the capacity of the media in reporting developments in the Legislature accurately.

In his view, Parliament, the House of representation, has a role to play in guarding the public purse and doing so, members must relay the information in the House to their people through the media.

The lack of education of the people on the work of Parliamentarians has been misconstrued to be making statements and arguments on the floor of the House, he stated.

Interacting effectively with the media how MPs spend long hours, sometimes beyond their working period, and communicating same to the electorate are the solutions to the misconception on the work of the MP, he noted.

He announced that under his leadership, efforts would be made to sharpen the skill of media persons who are interested in Parliamentary reporting to ensure the work of Parliament was effectively communicated.

Professor Oquaye also added that the House would not wait for members of the executive to come before it with bills that matter and touches the heart of the citizenry before actions were taken, hinting that the he would pursue the Private Members Bill in order for members and citizens to come out with bills and legislations.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, on his part gave the support of the minority in reforms that would enhance efficiency in the delivery of their mandates.

He said his side of the House was committed to the fight against corruption, value for money and a decentralised Ghana, urging the media to strengthen its relationship with the House.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Ms. Sarah Adjoa Saafo, said the media served as the link between the governors and the governed hence the need to foster that bond which will link the two sides.

Mr. Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association, said Parliament and the media remain a critical part of the country’s vaunted democracy stressing the need to introduce incentives for Parliamentary reporters in the discharge of their duties.

The Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, Mr. Edwin Arthur, pleaded with the leadership of the House to enhance the working conditions of Parliamentary reporters and give reporters incentives that will keep them attached to reporting on Parliament.

 

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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