Gov’t contradicts GBC over alleged sale of state TV channel

File photo[/caption] Government has denied any knowledge of the alleged sale of one of the digital channels of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), but the state broadcaster is insisting government has been duly informed about it. The 2018 Auditor’s General implicated GBC in a deal which saw the state broadcaster give up one of its channels, GTV Govern, to a privately-owned company to manage. While the workers claimed the channel had been sold, GBC management rejected that, and claimed the channel has been given to the private company to operate a local television station for a period in a bid to rake in revenue for GBC. GBC claimed the government was informed about the deal but the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the government was surprised about any such deal, saying “It comes as a surprise to government”. He said government has now requested for information on the said deal. “I’m not aware that any channel of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation has been sold; I’m not aware of that. We have written to them [GBC] asking them to furnish my office with all of these documents or whatever they have signed. They will have to also furnish the National Media Commission with same and then we can understand what it is that they have done and then we can proceed from there,” he said. “What government has done in collaboration with the National Media Commission is to ask for an overview of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Public Service Broadcasting and advice government on the way forward,” he added, noting that process has not even started. However, the GBC maintains the government through the Ministry of Information has been informed about the deal. At a news conference Tuesday, acting Director-General of GBC, Augustus Yamson, maintained the government was duly informed. “Whatever management decision we take here, if we need to report to the minister, we report to him; this is what we have done, and for that matter we have reported to him. We have written to him, stated what we have done, [and] explained to him what we have done”, he explained. Meanwhile, the management of GBC have confirmed they have reached agreement to partner a private firm to manage three more of its channels; Obonu TV, GBC life and GBC Sports Plus. Head of Legal at the corporation, Kwame Wajah, justified the move on grounds that GBC needs to make money.

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