Story by Jennifer Amoah

Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Ghana’s Deputy Information Minister, has dispelled the notion that when it comes to gathering relevant information, the passage of the Right to Information bill will make the work of the journalist easier.

This advice came as the minister interacted with budding journalists who had gathered at the UNESCO Youth Newsroom at the World Press Freedom day held in Ghana. In his speech, he encouraged all media practitioners to be honest in conducting proper investigative and thorough work when it comes to accessing information in their lines of duties.

Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah addressing members at the Youth News Room

The minister said, “…People go round with the view that when you pass the Right to Information Bill, it means that their problems are solved,  they can literally sit in their homes and fire a letter that give me information…and that it will make the fight against corruption easier.”

In his opinion he said “…I think those are very soothing assumptions…like I earlier said it’s more for the general citizen who wants information to something than the media person who wants to uncover something…”

The Right to Information bill which has long been awaited by the Ghanaian populace has been in parliament for review since 2003. With the induction of the current government, pragmatic steps have been taken in order to bring the bill into realization.

Questions asked indicated that Ghana has had to wait for too long and are desperate to see the passing of the RTI bill.

Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah was optimistic that the bill will be passed as part of the government’s dedication to serve the people of Ghana.  His answer to whether or not politicians needed to be cautious when the bill was finally passed was in the negative. He reiterated by saying “Politicians ought not to be afraid when the bill is finally passed.” He indicated that one’s fear would only be as a result of conducting corrupt activities and hoping not to be apprehended and brought into the light of truth.

With regards to the bill the minister finally said “But it’s coming and I hope it does well for all of us.”

 

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