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Information Minister Fatimatu Abubakar pays working visit to Asaase Broadcasting Company Ltd

Fatimatu Abubakar, Minister of Information, visits Asaase 99.5 Accra (22 May 2024) and has a guided tour from George Andah

Fatimatu Abubakar talks to Asaase Radio’s chief executive officer, George Andah, in the Asaase Accra newsroom

The Minister of InformationFatimatu Abubakar, has paid a working visit to Asaase Broadcasting Company Ltd in a move to familiarise herself better with the operations of media houses in Ghana.

The visit comes barely two days after Fatimatu Abubakar was sworn into office as the new Minister of Information.

It also comes after Ghana made significant strides in the latest World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) on 3 May.

The country moved up from 62nd to 50th place in the index.

Addressing the management of Asaase Broadcasting Company Ltd during her visit on Wednesday (22 May), Abubakar said her ministry has intensified moves to build journalists’ capacity.

She added that roughly 100 journalists will benefit from capacity-building, starting from June this year.

“We also realise that there are some capacity challenges within this case,” she said. “Because mostly you have journalists, you have technical people who have gone through training at NAFTI [National Film and Television Institute], GIJ [Ghana Institute of Journalism] and any of the tertiary institutions in the country.

Fatimatu Abubakar (In black scarf) addresses management of Asaase Radio

“Since 2022, we have trained 140 journalists in NAFTI. And in June, we are bringing up the Open Committee for additional handouts, whom we intend to train together or break into two for the third and fourth quarters of the year.

“There is a temptation for people to think that, ‘Oh, it’s not a big deal. It’s being sponsored by the ministry. Maybe they are going to brainwash people. Maybe they need it for a political agenda.’

“But it’s nothing of that sort,” Abubakar said.

For his part, the chief executive officer of ABC Ltd, George Andah, called for government intervention to reduce the operational costs faced by media houses.

Andah also called for the minister to bring influence to bear to lighten the tax regime created by the communications service tax (CST) and bring relief to media organisations.

“We have operational issues. Its difficult to manage a broadcasting facility. Our operational costs are pretty high. The cost of transmission is pretty high; [also] staffing costs, training of staff.

“And so, yes, we definitely need support in this space … Im sure that you are aware from your interactions with GIBA [the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association] that there are some challenges with the tax regime.”

Asaase Broadcasting Company Ltd, a private commercial media organisation, owns Asaase 99.5 Accra, Asaase 98.5 Kumasi, Asaase 99.7 Tamale, Asaase 100.3 Cape Coast and AsaasePa 107.3 Accra.

Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

Asaase Broadcasting Company airs on Asaase 99.5 Accra, Asaase 98.5 Kumasi, Asaase 99.7 Tamale, Asaase 100.3 Cape Coast, AsaasePa 107.3 (Accra).
Affiliates: Azay FM 89.1 (Takoradi), Bawku FM 101.5, Bead FM 99.9 (Bimbilla), Mining City Radio 89.5 (Tarkwa), Nyatefe Radio 94.5 (Dzodze), Somuaa FM 89.9 (Gushegu), Stone City 90.7 (Ho) and Wale FM 106.9 (Walewale).
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