Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh
November 2, 2021

Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh said Parliament, must be really interested in the way the Commission works since it has the largest constituency among the constitutional bodies.

According to him it is the reason why the framers of the country’s constitution saw the wisdom in giving Parliament three (3) position out of the 18 member Committee, and there is no other body with such a number of representations.

He added that when the NMC is well resourced, it would work in the collective interest of the nation in other to carry out its responsibility that has been given to it.

“NMC has the biggest task in terms of the nation’s constitutional bodies than the Electoral Commission. The EC’s duty comes once in four years as elections are supposed to be conducted after every four years”, he noted.

The law establishing the NMC says it should not conduct itself, as if they are full time members yet the work that they do is a full time job,  “that is why it has become necessary that we need the support of parliament because the constitution says additional responsibility of the NMC can be given by the national parliament and  bemoaned the lack of powers of the NMC”.

He said this at an engagement organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and expanded leadership of Parliament.

Again, Ghanaians expect that NMC to take appropriate measures to ensure higher journalistic standards and professionalism in the media but an assumption that the Commission cannot do anything about.

That is NMC is cracking the whip, where “no one has given the whip to the NMC to crack. This is a country of rule of law and anything we do should be founded on law. So when the commission has not been empowered for instance to close down a radio station that has created a mishap, we cannot do that”.

 What the Commission order is apology,   retraction and rejoinder of a story and or recommend for the Association to punish. Beyond that they cannot do anything, and in the mind set of those who set the NMC was for it to facilitate the media rather than close them down.

 “If the time has come with the passing of time that the NMC should be given the powers to crack the whip, it is only parliament that can give it those powers to crack the whip”.

In his presentation, he further pointed out a worrying situation that, if majority of the members on the NMC were not doing other jobs things would have been difficult for them, as their allowance is delayed unduly up to nine months. “How do you expect us to serve the public interest?” He queried

And added that as a country if we want the country’s democracy to succeed, there should be a way of managing the media environment in the exercise of our freedom, but room should not be given to degrading person’s reputations.

Again, he lamented that NMC has had meetings with all the constitutional created bodies except Parliament and the Ghana Bar Association and was very grateful to MoPA for creating the opportunity as they relied on three (3) MPs on the Commission to facilitate a meeting with parliament but that did not happen.

And look forward for an opportunity of meeting Parliament as a House for them to have frank discussions.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com