The minister-designate for Information, Mustapha Hamid, has promised to make the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) more viable and effective if he gets the ministerial job.
At Parliament’s Appointments Committee hearing on Thursday, Mustapha Hamid also promised to make the state broadcaster more financially independent by introducing innovative ways to collect TV licenses.
“I think that is important that we work towards GBC a ‘BBC’ if you want where it is able to raise its own money and be very independent of government control even in terms of government subvention so that we can position it as a global player on the international scene,” he said.
GBC has become the butt of jokes in the broadcasting space in Ghana.
The state broadcaster has been mocked on social media for its old-fashioned programming and poor signals following heightened competition from private broadcasters.
Ghana Television (GTV) is number six in terms of audience share of nine free-to-air TV channels, according to Geopoll.
Calls have been made to privatise GBC to make its programming more relevant and exciting, but those calls have been countered on grounds the country needs a truly independent state-owned media.
Mustapha Hamid, however, assured the vetting committee that GBC is currently applying some innovative ways of collecting TV license fees to finance its operations.
GBC’s efforts to collect the fees remains a challenge as there is a general apathy among the populace in paying the fees. But according to Mustapha Hamid, GBC’s innovation to allow Ghanaians pay their fees via their mobile phones among other innovating ways will help improve its operations.
Mustapha Hamid told the Committee that, he would help ensure that the country’s Broadcasting Bill, which defines parameters of broadcasting in the country and provides sanctions for media entities who flout it, is passed before the end of the 4-year term of the government.