Prof. Alhassan: Unbudgeted expenditure for coverage of national assignments crippling GBC

The Director-General was speaking yesterday in Accra during the second edition of media engagement with the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA).

The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) paid $3 per minute to a satellite company to be able to broadcast the 2020 presidential election petition.

Although he fell short of stating the full cost of the live broadcast of the petition, Professor Amin Alhassan, Director-General of GBC, said that, such unbudgeted expenditure was one of the factors which crippled the Corporation with debt.

The state broadcaster, he said, had however settled all debts and was currently debt-free adding, that, it planned to expend GH¢17 million this year to be able to deliver on its public broadcast mandate.

The Director-General was speaking yesterday in Accra during the second edition of media engagement with the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA).

Dubbed “Pitching the Successes of Specified Entities,” the engagement is aimed at highlighting the successes chalked by State-Owned Enterprises to various stakeholders and the Ghanaian citizenry.

Citing other challenges, Prof. Alhassan said, huge bureaucratic systems that had existed at GBC undermined its growth within the past 80 years of it existence.

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Additionally, over supply of media outlets in the country limited media market as well as ageing staff steeped in analogue media production practice, have also bedeviled the Corporation, he stated.

He argued that the challenges had continued to prevail due to the monotonous ways of implementing activities without succumbing to changing times.

In order to curb the challenges, Prof.  Alhassan noted that the Corporation had acquired new technological devices with its internally generated funds to enable it engage in live broadcasts without the need for a satellite service.

He said the Corporation was also undertaking training and retraining of staff to be able to use digital technology and build synergies across GBC platforms to maximise the Corporation’s full potential.

He said the GBC had also introduced cost recovery strategies to enhance revenue generations and develop a cross media approach to programme development to maximise the use of talents and resources.

Going forward, Prof.  Alhassan stated that GBC was working to establish in all the six newly created regions to broaden its presence across the country and had opened itself as a commercial entity to the public.

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“When COVID struck, we launched the Ghana learning TV for children and the content is provided exclusively by GES.

We have seven channels and we are transforming GTV Live to a Lifestyle channel to entertain and to become a youth channel. Our revenue in the last two decades has suffered a deep decline because we are burdened with the past but we are on course for positive outcomes,” he stated.

The Director-General debunked claims that the GBC offered more airtime to government than opposition parties saying that “I can assure and the records are clear that we gave all political parties equal airtime and platform just because we believe in media equity.”

The Director-General of SIGA, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, commended GBC for the bold initiatives to tackle the challenges and pursue growth.

He pledged that the Authority would work with GBC to fight encroachers from taking over lands belonging to the Corporation.

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