The Upper West Regional Branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called on the government to do its best to pass the long awaited Right To Information (RTI) Bill in the first quarter of 2018.
The passage of the bill, according to the Association in the region, would go a long way to enhance the role of journalists in helping to check corruption and promote judicious use of Ghana’s meagre resources to improve the quality of lives of the people.
Mr Sualah Abdul-Wahab, the Upper West Regional Chairman of GJA, who made the call during a press soiree organised by the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) noted that passing of the Bill would be a further demonstration of government’s commitment to fight corruption in the country.
He also reminded his colleagues on the need to demonstrate high ethical and professional standards in the discharge of their duties.
He charged journalists to be fair, accurate, balanced and objective in whatever information they put out to the public domain to ensure the protection of people’s reputation and also guard against public misinformation.
Mr Abdul-Wahab thanked the RCC for the support in facilitating the work of journalists in the region and hoped such a cordial relationship would continue to grow even better in the future so that the region could be projected to the international community.
Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, the Upper West Regional Minister, commended the media for working hard to market the region to the rest of the country and the international community.
“The region is the smallest and most deprived region in the country, yet it is well known in the international community and that is due to your hard work”, he said.
He congratulated the new GJA Executives on their election and subsequent swearing-in and appealed to them to provide the needed leadership by monitoring and regulating activities of their colleagues, especially the local media in the region, to ensure sanity prevailed in the system.
Alhaji Alhassan noted that 2017 was an eventful one for the region as it witnessed the implementation of two of government’s flagship programmes including the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme and the “Free Senior High School (FSHS)” programme.
A total of 29,000 farmers benefited under the programme, he said, but officials expect the number to increase this year.
He encouraged the media to help propagate the need for beneficiaries to pay up the credit component of the inputs to keep revolving that aspect of the intervention.
With the Free SHS policy, he said, government was determined to deal with the emerging challenges to ensure its success and remove the burden on parents permanently.