The Director-General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Professor Amin Alhassan has revealed that the public service broadcaster delivered on its mandate at the cost of GH¢17million for the coverage of the 2020 general election.
Speaking at the second edition of State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA)’s media engagement series in Accra on Thursday, he said the election coverage and its accompanying activities are the kinds of service GBC does and no one pays the broadcaster for it.
“I will give you an instance. For some reason, we went to court with a presidential petition. The consensus was that it should be televised live, but nobody asked us how we were going to fund it.”
“The Chief Justice invited me for a conversation and told me that I want this live and I looked him in the face and said I would send you an invoice. He said look, I did not budget for this and I said if you did not budget for a presidential petition how can GBC budget for telecasting it live,” Prof. Alhassan disclosed.
“It was unpredictable for us but once they asked us to do it. Every minute you watched the presidential petition live Ghana Broadcasting Corporation was paying $3 to a satellite service provider till the petition was over,” he added.
The GBC Director-General indicated however that thankfully, the corporation was able to pay the money from its internally generated fund (IGF).
“We are not declaring profit but if we were to declare profit I will tell you that this is the profit we have declared. The entire several days of the hearing, every minute $3 has been paid by GBC with tax,” he stressed.
He wants people assessing state enterprises to factor in what these institutions offer for free, noting that the corporation is anticipating GH¢17 million for the cost of doing free services.
He enumerated some of the challenges of the 80-year-old organisation and pointed to bureaucratic systems and aged staff as some of the things stifling GBC’s growth.
“There were many old people who were more comfortable with doing things the analogue way. It was very difficult handling such situations because they have also dedicated all their lives to GBC.”
Prof. Alhassan stated, however, that GBC had to toe a middle ground to come to “a level-ground of consensus,” and said, “so now, as you can see, we have started rebranding.”