Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has charged the media to lead the campaign in educating and informing the public on the dangers of money laundering and terrorist financing.
According to the Minister who was speaking at a sensitization workshop for journalists organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering, which is a specialized institution of ECOWAS, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah indicated that money laundering and terrorist financing divert resources away from the ultimate economic activity and exacerbate income inequalities as proceeds only benefit a small group of people.
It also deters foreign investors by signalling weakness in the country’s regulatory and governance framework.
The Information Minister believes it is time for the media to educate the public about the consequences of money laundering and terrorist financing and how individuals can contribute to nipping this practice in the bud.
“As the fourth estate of the realm good quality journalism can shed light on the activities of money laundering and terrorist financing and how government. This can also push the government to strengthen its anti-money laundering measures. If the media takes centre stage in the education this will also provide a platform for whistle-blowers to volunteer information on these menace,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said.
Citing a recent incident that happened in the Northern part of Ghana where the effort to arrest some persons suspected to be affiliated with some terrorist group was thwarted by the youth of the town who later ended up attacking the national security operatives, the Information Minister believes more needs to be done to raise awareness.
“The culture of monetizing every aspect of our national lives from religion, through sports, politics and social standings needs to be re-examined and with the right tools, media outfits will not bastardize every successful person nor blindly promote just anything. The capacity enhancement of media persons is key in ensuring that sensitization on this menace is done,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah added.
President of the Ghana Journalists Association Albert Dwumfour expressed satisfaction with plans to establish GIABA desk offices in selected media outlets to ensure that the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is won at all levels.
“It will be a good initiative to see the establishment of GIABA desk offices in some selected media houses in the country. As the GJA we are strongly behind the move,” Albert Dwumfour said.
Timothy Malaye who represented the Director General of GIABA Edwin W. Harries Jnr noted that the agenda of ensuring that member states lead the charge against money laundering and terrorist financing adding that the components of GIABA which includes protecting member states economies from money laundering and terrorist financing will be held in high esteem.
“GIABA’s core mandate which includes ensuring that member states economies are free from money laundering and terrorist financing will be held in high esteem. The Economic Community of West African States considers this particular event an essential one because of the impact it will make representative of the Director General of GIABA said.
“As GIABA the best way to fight this menace is to equip journalists with knowledge with the right tools to report money laundering and other financial crimes to ensure that we have a safe society to live in. We expect that this will be a springboard to champion this agenda adding that sharing of information is essential to winning this fight.
“We must also note that the anti-draft fight cannot be effective without the active involvement of the media. It is not a task for journalists alone but all stakeholders”Timothy Malaye said.