President of the Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Bice Osei Kuffour popularly known as Obour has responded to Starr Fm’s presenter, KOD over the use of the GH¢ 2 million allotted to the Union for improvement of the Music industry.
Obour, who has been hit with series of allegations for misappropriation of the GH¢ 2 million reiterated that the comprehensive research conducted into the music industry by KPMG was to access the contribution of music to Ghana’s GDP in November 2012.
Speaking on Kasapa FM, Obour remarked that some of the recommendations made by KPMG concerning the music industry was a long term development plan.
“Development is a process and not an event so developing a whole industry art like the music industry, you don’t expect that within 2 years, you’ll see a vast developmental change. So over a period, this research document will serve as a basic backbone that years to come investors will rely on it for the growth of the music industry. That is a long term benefit.”
Explaining some of the short term plan by the research company, Obour said, “One major recommendations by KPMG report was to establish a Creative Arts Council. When you check Page 39 of the abridged version and page 202 in the main document it was clearly stated that a Council should be created for the creative arts. During former President Mahama’s term of office, they started making initiative towards establishing this council for creative arts. This is because without a council, MUSIGA has no teeth to bite. When creative arts council is inaugurated and measures put in place, the broader musician group in Ghana will benefit.”
According to him,” the research document stated that the Ministry of Education should reconsider elevating Music as a discipline in Basic schools and secondary schools. From this research, we realised that so many music teachers have been unemployed so they are now part of the unemployment bracket. If Government should consider teaching music in basic and second cycle institutions, it can reduce the unemployment situation in the country and also decrease social vices menaces mostly by unemployed persons.”
Another recommendations by the reputable firm, according the MUSIGA president indicated that National Communication Authority should ensure that all radio station to log in music played.
He said the MUSIGA board after the research and advice by KPMG met with the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) on a viable solution to claim royalties from music played by radio stations in the country.
Obour added that research firm, KPMG recommended that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should set up a Cultural desk to market Ghanaian music all around the world.
With the huge criticisms that have rocked his administration, Obour said he is not perturbed about some of these critics since he is convinced that he’s doing what is right and beneficial to all stakeholders.
Obour said, apart from the establishment of a GH¢100,000 MUSIGA Ageing Fund for ageing musicians which was the main aim of the 2014 MUSIGA Grand Ball held at the Banquet Hall, State House, he also instituted the Ghana Music Week to provide jobs for musicians.
He reiterated that MUSIGA requested for GH¢ 5.5 million from the Government but GH¢ 2 million was allotted for MUSIGA purposely for its research as was proposed by the Executive.
“The GH¢ 2 million was given to MUSIGA based on the proposal to do a thorough research into the music sector though we requested for GH¢ 5.5 million,” Obour added. Minister of Finance, Dr Kwabena Duffuor in his presentation of the 2012 budget on November 16, 2011 announced that government had set aside GH¢ 2 million to MUSIGA for the development of the creative arts industry.