The Unionized Staff of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), are fighting back attempts by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to forcefully take a prime land in Accra belonging the Corporation.
The group says “we don’t want to be tempted to a show down” and so it has ran to the National Media Commission (NMC) with a petition dated September 9, 2021, to intervene over the matter and quickly stop the encroachment.
According to the petition titled “Stop the illegal takeover of GBC Old House land by Ghana Revenue Authority/Ministry of Finance”, the move is being made to put up a new building for the state revenue collector.
The staff say they are vehemently against the move because GBC as a public Service Broadcaster, has the power to do what it deems fit with it properties or assets.
Moreover, the group argued, the Authority has vast land at a place close by.
“Meanwhile, the GRA has vast land near the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs complex at Airports”, it said.
The petition signed by Divisional Chairman Sam Nat Kevor further asked “Why is GRA not using those lands to build offices? Who is behind the expropriation of GRA Airport lands and now wants GBC’s land as a replacement? The Unionized Staff of GBC want to know”.
Details from the petition indicate that, the agenda to take over the land located at Old Broadcasting House near the Jubilee House, started in 2020 following which the Unionized Staff confronted the institutions behind it.
When Management of GBC was confronted by the staff, they feigned knowledge of the development saying they “Have no knowledge about the encroachment”.
But the petition said “The Union’s multiple sources cited a letter allegedly signed by the Minister of Finance to the Management of GBC, to release the Corporation’s land to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to build its office.
This is not the first time assets of the state broadcaster is being tampered with. Recall that few years ago, the Ministry of Communications headed by Mrs. Ursula Gifty Owusu-Ekuful, had tried directing the Corporation to let go off three of it channels.
The angry staff said they will not sit down aloof especially so when GBC is not one of the agencies or department of the Finance Ministry “and it can therefore not direct, prosecute, order and to wit attempt to carve away any property of GBC situated anywhere in this Country”.
It said, it will not rest on it mission to protect and to prevent the illegl takeover of the Corporation’s assets situated anywhere.
While calling on the NMC to quickly stop the on-going grading and preparation works, the Unionized Staff served notice “We shall use all available legal means, inciting series of industrial actions to back its call and demands. We don’t want to be tempted for a show down”.
The petitioner copied the Speaker of Parliament Alban S. K Bagbin, Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, both Majority and Minority in Parliament, Director General of GBC, Ghana Journalists Association and many other interested bodies.