I am an ardent believer in the private sector and the use of that sector to propel development instead of government or the public sector. I have always been against government creating jobs directly instead of facilitating that creation using the private sector with prudent policies and directions. And this is the reason behind my joy over the Bank of Ghana’s decision to get a central switch established by and operated by a private sector company to interconnect mobile money payments. The contract we are told had been awarded but the aftermath has been a rather sad spectacle.
First of all, the role of the media in ensuring transparency and accountability is not in question but in playing that role the media is expected not to be biase but rather be seen to be doing it professionally. There is the need to ask genuine questions about the contract or the project, such as the technical capability of the company involved, track record as well as the ability to raise the needed financial requirements for the task. Again, it is legitimate to enquire about the bidding or procurement process and whether anything untoward occurred. Anything short of these clearly constitute witch-hunting and doing the bid of the enemy and that is clearly what I thought JOY FM and the Mulimedia Group has been up to over the last few days.
In the name of investigations, the station and its morning show host, Kojo Yankson decided to delve into what I consider clearly unnecessary and private areas concerning the individuals involved in the company that won the bid, Sibton Switch. They tried to find out who they are, how they relate to a certain Roland Agambire who per their own discovered information is not a director of Sibton. And if a director of a private company has a child with someone, how does that render the procurement or contract procedures invalid or illegal? Is there any law in this country that people who have worked with or related to another person previously he or she cannot own a business or be a director in ny company? I hope JOY FM and the Multimedia Group had evidence to substantiate their claim or aware of the legal consequences? I sincerely hope they were aware of the damage or harm such an allegation if untrue does to the image and integrity of the individuals involved and their families. No wonder that company is always inundated by legal writs.
Secondly, why has it become the fashionable for companies that loses out on contracts to use the media to malign everyone? Just as we have been told in the case of the Bank of Ghana case, there is always an avenue for one to seek redress if anyone feels unhappy and unsatisfied about the process. But instead of following these laid-down practice, the failed companies have taken to the media, making wild claims and allegations against state institutions and private individuals. I even read that one of the firms conceding that they did not fully understood the process, therefore made mistakes and got rejected, yet they are using the media to engage in unacceptable practices.
Whoever advices Multimedia, especially JOY FM should sit up. The bigger society is watching. They are gradually loosing respect but they may not be aware.
Source: Sylvia Obuobi, A Social Commentator
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