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28 June 2016

GNA needs a business-oriented MD – Otabil

Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA

Takoradi,  GNA – Bernard Otabil, the out-going Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) has said that Ghana’s premier wire service needs a business oriented leader who can take up the mantle after he had left.

Bernard Otabil, the out-going Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana News Agency (GNA)

Bernard Otabil, the out-going Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana News Agency (GNA)

Established in 1957 by Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the GNA serves as the hub of news and information in the country with almost all the media outlets relying on the Agency’s files for news from all parts of the country.

The CEO made the statement when he paid a farewell visit to the Western Regional Office of the GNA in Takoradi to interact with the staff and to formally announce his official resignation.

He said the fortunes of the Agency had suffered due to the lack of adequate support from government, which meant that concentrating on the traditional roles of the GNA alone could neither improve the fortunes of the Agency nor the staff, over the long-term.

The out-going CEO, who is expected to start his terminal leave on July 4 this year, therefore, called for a

business oriented leadership” that could replicate the success stories in other media jurisdictions to bring back some of the lost glory of the Agency.

The CEO acknowledged that the Agency still had good human resource in terms of editorial staff, with experience spanning between 20 and 30 years, who were doing a fantastic job albeit under stressful circumstances sometimes. What the Agency lacked, however, was the business mind to put it on the right track.

The out-going CEO encouraged the staff to continue to give of their best as the Agency has defined a considerable number of products to shift from the reliance on just text files in the past. The CEO maintained that the current products- GNA Centre for Journalism and Multimedia Studies, labaari.com, GNA Events and Conferences, GNA Monitoring and Evaluation Services meant that the Agency was now a big player in the provision of content as a value addition by some companies.

“The fact that you can have GNA stories available in four different languages on the Vodafone 321 Service means that we have turned the corner. We must therefore accentuate the positives and get some of the lost glory back. We developed all these products in a space of three years so we have good opportunities to explore”, the CEO added.

He urged staff not to despair, as the Agency’s role as a premier news source as well as its credibility were not in doubt despite the identified constraints.

The CEO indicated that as he moved forward in his career path, GNA would still be a “baby” that he would “continue to nurture, support and feed with needed nutrients to avoid it being perpetually malnourished”.

“With my new appointment, we still have many areas to collaborate”, he said.

He thanked the staff for the massive support he enjoyed over the last three and half years of his association with the Agency.

The out-going Regional Manager, Mrs. Felicia Yeboah-Akpoh, who is proceeding on retirement, also expressed appreciation to the management and staff for their support and co-operation.

GNA

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