The Ministry of Information through the Micro Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) is giving out Hyundai 110 cars to some selected journalists in the country.
The Journalists are expected to pay less than 350 Ghana Cedis a month for four years. A source at MASLOC who disclosed this to The Publisher newspaper said, “our office is just being used us money collector, but the whole deal is from the Ministry of Information.”
When contacted, the Minister of Information Mr. John Tia denied the Ministry’s involvement in any ‘media car’ deal. He said, “I know MASLOC is giving cars to some individuals, but the ministry of Information has nothing to do with it. Not long ago, some of Ghana’s loudest journalists were found to have benefited from the disbursement of an amount of GH¢169,000 the Ministry of Information had budgeted for educating the public on the National budget. The said journalists, numbering over fifty and currently occupying top positions and several others were part of the persons that the amount was used in giving an education on the budget as well as resources to disseminate information through their respective media houses.
While some of them were hosted in hotels outside Accra where they interacted with government officers and various resource persons on the budget, others met over dinner and dialogues with some Ministers of state at the Dynasty Restaurant at Osu in Accra where the fine details of the budget were adequately discussed.
Documents cited from the Information Ministry shows that aside the journalists, Directors from the Information Service department, (ISD) in all the regions were taken through some education retreats where the budget was explained to them and resource persons brought in to take them through refresher courses on how they could decentralize the information in their respective regions and districts.
The documents also shows that a large chunk of the amount was further used in buying air-time on GTV for spreading information on the budget while some print media houses were literally paid to publish advertiser’s announcement and advertorials on the same budget.
The source disclosed that the auditing did not find anything untoward and that may explain why some media houses owned by politicians who perceive the current government as rivals have started publishing allegations that an unnamed group within the ISD has accused the Information minister and his two deputies of unbridled corruption. The suspected aim is just to continue throwing mud at them until the perception of corruption sticks on them. Though not a single member of the said group has been named or any single shred of evidence given, the said newspapers have put out the bribery allegations on their front pages with photos of the accused ministers.
Source: The Publisher