The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has launched its media fellowship to enhance transparency and accountability in the commission’s operations and engagements with stakeholders.
The initiation of the media fellowship is also to improve the existing relationship between the PURC and the media.
Mr Ebo Quagraine, chairman, PURC, launching the fellowship in Accra last Thursday said the functions of the commission were undoubtedly of key interest to Ghanaians as it was an independent economic regulator in the natural gas, electricity and water sectors of the country.
He stated that the commission had the mandate of giving out rates chargeable for public utility services, monitoring of performance, establishment of benchmarks and policy directives to help balance the interest of consumers and utility service providers.
However, MrQuagraine noted that these functions required research, information and continuous stakeholder engagement.
As such, the PURC chairman said it was the reason the commission was instituting the fellowship to facilitate its activities.
He noted that the fellowship would serve as a medium to educate and engage journalists on the current state of regulation in the provision of utility service in the country, adding that “as well as improve upon information access and collaboration among the sector’s stakeholders.”
Mr Quagrainie stressed that media fellows of the PURC would be given the required training to understand and report accurately on regulatory operations and decisions of the commission.
“Ultimately, the fellowship will serve as a platform for capacity building and an avenue for debunking misinformation regarding the regulated sectors of PURC,” he added.
Mr Quagrainie used the opportunity to urge members of the fellowship to be circumspect and seek clarification, through the appropriate channel of the commission in its reportage to the public.
The Executive Secretary, PURC, Dr Ishmael Ackah, in his remarks encouraged journalists to get on board and liaise with the commission to facilitate its activities.
He reiterated the need for them to be prudent in their reportage, and seek clarifications and confirmations from the right persons or sources for their reportage.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR