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General News of Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

'Ministers should not be at everyone's beck and call' - Ursula supports Dapaah

The Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful says ministers and senior government officials should insist that the right trained personnel, who understand their job and know the implications of their actions alone should interact with them.

Commending the Minister of Sanitation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah for declining a radio interview with an intern from the Adom FM on the grounds that the latter was not experienced, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said there was nothing wrong with that move.

Mrs Dapaah's reported action has generated a varied public discourse with some arguing that her action was distasteful and a potential to kill the initiatives of interns.

There are those who also think that Mrs Dapaah did nothing wrong.

Commenting on the matter in a Facebook post Tuesday morning, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful insisted the Sanitation Minister did well by not letting the intern to interview her on the grounds that experienced people are needed to interview political office holders.

“A minister is not the training ground for an intern. You crawl before you stand and walk,” she posted.

She also urged other ministers and senior government officials to follow suit, saying “And yes, ministers and senior officials can and should insist that the right trained personnel who understand their job and know the implications of their actions alone should interact with them. There is nothing wrong with that.”

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful was of the view that “An intern or trainee should not be sent to interview anyone or interact with senior officials without supervision.”

She also bemoaned the “chronic disrespect for political office holders in Ghana”, describing it as “nauseating.”

The Minister of Sanitation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah is reported to have "rudely" turned down an interview from an intern, Ms Rahinatu Abdul Bach of Adom FM when she called her for an interview on the basis that she was an intern.

Below is a copy of the post

This chronic disrespect for political office holders in Ghana is getting quite nauseating. Try getting into the office of a minister anywhere in the world without an appointment and see if you'll be allowed in. In Ghana, the minister will be roasted because they are public officers so should be at everyone's beck and call. You can't just pick up the phone and insist on an interview without prior arrangement and the media house must send the appropriately trained personnel to conduct the interview. An intern must be supervised by a superior when out on the field to ensure they acquire the right on the job skills. Even as a qualified lawyer doing my pupillage in Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co, I was supervised by a senior lawyer and never let loose on my own to deal with clients for fear of making mistakes that might cost the firm. That’s how you learn. (and you should never be so arrogant as to think graduation from school gives you all the skills you need to work) That’s what serious organisations who value their corporate reputation do. And they apologise when they step out of line instead of blaming those who insist on the right thing being done. An intern or trainee should not be sent to interview anyone or interact with senior officials without supervision. A minister is not the training ground for an intern. You crawl before you stand and walk. If you can’t invest resources in providing them with the proper practical skills, don’t take them in. And yes, ministers and senior officials can and should insist that the right trained personnel who understand their job and know the implications of their actions alone should interact with them. There is nothing wrong with that. Thank you Hon Cecilia Abena Dapaah for calling the young intern out and reminding the media house which committed this faux pas of some basic tenets of their profession. In these days of fake news and chronic misreporting, it is critical that we do not expose our public officials to ridicule just because some budding journalists want to make headlines. Maybe we are no longer interested in accurate reportage and any soundbite or noise will do, but in the final analysis, quality work will always stand out and be rewarded. It pays to take time to learn well and acquire the right skills in any profession, including journalism. I salute Paul Ansah, Sefa Kayi Sakyi-Addo, Afenyi-Dadzie et al..