The Ministry of Information is working with the Ghana News Agency to roll-out the GNA Economics and Business News Project.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament that the project was designed to provide a lot more information on key developments in Ghana’s economy and investment space.
He said that would help boost the economy, improve on technology and human capital to contribute to growth.
The Minister said this when he led the managements of the New Times Corporation and Graphic Communications Group Ltd to make an appearance before the PAC on Thursday to respond to queries in the 2020 Auditor-General’s Report concerning agencies and departments under the Ministry.
Dr James Klutse Avedzi, the Chairman of PAC, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu North, asked Mr Martin Adu-Owusu, the Managing Director of New Times Corporation, if management needed support to turn around the fortunes of the Corporation.
Responding, Mr Adu-Owusu said the Corporation had asked for support from the Government for over 30 years, but had never received any.
“Now we have taken our destiny into our own hands and we are trying to do the best we can to revive the New Times Corporation,” he said.
Dr Avedzi then asked the Information Minister whether the Ministry was considering retooling the Corporation to turn its fortunes around or would leave it to survive on its own.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said: “Mr Chairman, what he (Mr Adu-Owusu) did not mention to you is that over a year ago, we asked the Corporation to submit a plan to us, so that we could support them.”
“We have taken that plan upstairs, and there are a number of options on how to get them support to be a well-functioning profitable entity for the Republic. So, it is something we are working on currently.”
He said there was a plan in motion to support the Corporation and a number of options were being considered on how to get them that support.
Mr Sam George, a Member of PAC and MP for Ningo-Prampram, urged companies, especially Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) owing the New Times Corporation in terms of subscriptions for newspapers to emulate Parliament by paying all outstanding debts.
That, he said, was essential to keep the Corporation going.
Mr Ato Afful, the Managing Director, Graphic Communications Group Ltd, said the MDAs owed the Group a significant amount of money totaling about GHS14 million.
“We had taken an initiative on the back end of a directive from the Board to write to the Minister of Finance to enable us to come to a certain appreciable level on this concern,” he said.
“Because it is not eroding that quickly, we’ve been following through, and I hope by the end of March, we will get a better hand on that matter.”
Mr Afful said they were working through the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) and the Ministry of Information to get a certain clarity on the status of claim.