The Upper East Regional Director of the Information Services Department (ISD), Mr Nelson Ayamga Mba, has held a meeting with all 13 Municipal and District Information Officers (MDIOs) in the region.


Deliberations centered on the most effective strategies and the appropriate channels to be used to carry out public education campaigns on the ideal policies and programmes of the government’s 2018 budget statement.


Mr Mba tasked his officers to create the needed impact for the budget campaign, stressing "you must justify government's expenditure on you as information officers". He urged them to make use of the Department’s Information Vans to announce through the communities at strategic timing in both English and the local languages, and use the various FM stations, including the National Broadcaster, GBC, which transmitted to all the 13 administrative districts of the region.


He said as Information Officers, they were also expected to liaise with the religious leadership in their districts in order to be able to use the churches and mosques to propagate the laudable initiatives and programmes of the budget.


Mr Mba said Government had rolled out some good policies in the 2018 budget and that it fell within ISD's mandate to persuade the public to buy into these policies and give Government the needed support for their successful implementation.


He mentioned the Free Senior High School programme which began in September 2017, reduction in electricity tariffs, One-District One-Factory and the One-Village One-Dam initiatives, IPEP and NEIP employment interventions, restoration of teacher cum nursing trainee allowances, payment of teachers’ arrears from 2013 to 2016 and the re-strengthening of the NHIS as some of the outstanding programmes contained in the Budget Statement..


It is recalled after the Finance Minister presented the budget statement to Parliament in November 2017, the Ministries of Information and Finance together organized a workshop for all 10 Regional Directors of ISD and their staff at which they were schooled on the thematic areas of the budget.


Mr Mba said the public campaigns which would begin early next week, therefore, followed from that training they received after the budget presentation. He noted that ISD was an expert when it came to sending critical government information on policies and programmes to the citizenry at the very local level, adding that his office had further reduced the technical language in the budget statement to a form that could be effectively understood by the average Ghanaian.


The ISD Director tasked his field officers to bring proof from the field such as photos, recordings from the radio sessions and other engagements with the public to show that the work was actually done.


He said it was also important to get the media to cover the budget campaigns so as to give the exercise the needed publicity it deserved.


Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)