GNA complains of inadequate govt subvention

The General Manager of Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, has disclosed that the agency is facing massive operational challenges, following inadequate subvention from government.

He noted that the agency established to act as a central news collection avenue from all districts and regions in the country has inadequate staff, logistics and tools to carry its mandate effectively.

Speaking at the 3rd Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) Anniversary public lecture with the focus on GNA yesterday in Accra, Mr Owusu revealed the agency was broke to even hire international correspondents.

He mentioned that its international correspondents in countries such as Nigeria, Liberia, the United States of America, Germany and Canada had all redrawn their services.

Mr Owusu said since 2007 when the agency was presented with ten vehicles from the then government to enhance its operations, no support had come from governments to support its activities.

He said some subscribers, including major newspapers, radio and television stations unsubscribe to GNA services.

Former General Manager of GNA, Nana Apau Dua, said that GNA during its vibrant days, trained staff of the Nigeria News Agency, Liberia News Agency and other international agencies.

He said the agency was a platform for most seasoned journalists and international agencies.

Deputy Minister for Information, Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, described the situation at GNA as a generational problem inherited under the government.

He said no institution could perform to its optimal level under the current challenges of the agency.

Mr Hadzide stated that a proposal had been submitted to Parliament to resource the agency, adding that challenges facing GNA were no different from that of the Information Service Department, which government was committed to revamp.

Nana Apau Dua noted that the contribution of GNA to global journalism could not be underestimated, adding, “GNA due to its wide reports from the rural communities had contributed to the enactments and review of policies to address grievances of the populace”.

He said a chunk of GNA local correspondents were given allowances as the agency awaited clearance from government to recruit more staff.

Nana Apau Dua noted that the challenges facing the agency were serious and needed immediate solution to prevent the agency from total collapse.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN & KIMBERLY FREMPONG

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