Effective Communicators Needed In Government

When about three weeks ago Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Presidential aspirant, argued about the notion of putting square pegs in round holes, and cited practical examples to buttress his beliefs, the whole world went after him.

Some people even described his comment as an attack on persons with disabilities. In fact, the Ghana Federation of Disability, at a point, demanded a retraction and apology from the Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo Constituency.

Today, looking at the glaring lameness of some government communicators, one cannot help but agree with Hon. Bagbin, that it takes more than mere loyalty and personality to advance the cause of the government or political party one belongs to.

For instance, for several months, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had teased members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia’s 2017 trip to China did not yield any results.

What is amazing is how helpless government communicators looked whenever they are confronted with the claims that the Veep’s trip indeed yielded $15 billion aid to the country. At best, the bolder ones among them gave analyses that are not just misleading but also very inaccurate.

Shockingly, the best explanation so far about Bawumia’s trip has been given by one Dr. Gideon Boako, who is not a known communicator of government policies.

In a down-to-earth breakdown of the outcome, he categorised the package as follows:

That there is a $2 billion facility between the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and their sister partner in China (CNBM). He then talks about a $8 billion facility, which is for the integrated aluminium industry, and focuses on bauxite mine and refinery. He says it is a joint venture agreement between the government of Ghana and any potential off-taker.

The third category, he wrote, is the controversial $2 billion infrastructure facility for bauxite barter between government and any potential partner. He then mentioned a $1 billion facility for other projects.

Lastly, he talked about the freeing up of some locked $2 billion CDB loan contracted under the previous Mahama administration.

Fast forwarding to 2018, he disclosed that AGI and CNBM have successfully signed their pacts and started disbursing the $2 billion, $10 million of which has already been advanced to a sugar factory.

“Just this week, as part of the President’s tour to China, $400 million of the locked up $2 billion CDB loan has been signed for release for the construction of the fishing landing sites and others.

What this means is that hopefully by the end of 2018, about 95% of the whole $15 billion package announced by the erudite and hardworking Vice President, after his visit to China, would be realized. And this will mean a high success rate for the biggest deal the nation Ghana has gotten from any official trip by any Vice President for a long time”.

What else can be more explanatory than this?

THE PUBLISHER is amazed that the scores of government communicators on radio and television have failed to explain matters like this to the understanding of ordinary Ghanaians.

In our view, the government’s communication machinery is simply not communicating as expected.

Someone will have to sit up, before government loses touch with the grassroots; as election 2020 will be based on the people’s understanding of government projects and policies.

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