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RTI goes beyond media freedom – Dep Minister

Deputy Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong–Nkrumah says the soon to be passed Right to Information Bill is designed to benefit the general public and is not focused on press freedom alone.

He states the law will seek to provide members of the public with information to empower them towards improved participation in the democratic process.

“Freedom of the Press is enshrined in Article 12 of the constitution and the right to free media is not indicted. The right to free media is not hindered in any way in the absence of the law. Neither will its passage mean the Ghanaian media will be necessarily free or independent than it is today” Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah who is also Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi noted in an interview with GTV.

“A lot of people think that this bill will open the gate for some kind of secret information to pop up without much work. Instead, the law, if passed, will provide all persons in Ghana a procedure by which they can access the already existent Right to Information as provided in Article 21(1) (f) of the constitution,” he explained.

He further stated government is working towards improving the already existing drafts to build stronger Public Affairs Units in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to deliver on information requests that will come when the new bill is passed.

According to Mr. Nkrumah, the government believes that the Bill has gone through numerous consultation processes and is ready to be passed by July.

The Right to Information Bill was introduced in 1999 and has been laid before parliament several times over the last decade.

Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com