Dr Wilberforce S. Dzisah, Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, has urged graduates of the Institute to be innovative and dream big to become employers rather than employees in a competitive economy of work.
Dr Dzisah challenged the graduates to see themselves as the next generation of leaders and take advantage of what they have learnt and apply it in a productive way than waiting for government to find them jobs.
The Rector gave the advice in Accra at this year’s graduation ceremony of the Institute, of which a total of 954 students graduated with Diploma and Degrees.
The event was on the theme: “Communication as a tool for Sustaining the Oil and Gas Industry”.
He said the Institute has the expertise to play a critical role in the development of the oil and gas industry of the country.
“We have a reservoir of human resource in communication to assist in ensuring the development and sustenance of the industry.
If we permit those with the requisite knowledge to apply effective communication tools to deal with essential developmental issues, the country’s oil and gas industry could become a model of efficiency for others to emulate,” he added.
Dr Dzisah said the sustenance of the oil and gas industry would depend on the application of Information and Communication Technologies, and that there was the need to enhance all important communication channels to deal with both the upstream and downstream workers in the industry.
He said the theme was timely due to the recent ruling by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea which had secured the country’s hydrocarbon resources.
Dr Dzisah announced that as part of the Institute’s strategic agenda, it had initiated the process of adding new programmes – Integrated Development Studies, Communication & Marketing and Advertising Communication to the undergraduate courses.
He said management had submitted the two programmes to the National Council for Tertiary Education for approval and subsequently for accreditation.
The GIJ Rector said the Institute is faced with staffing challenges, and that currently the total staff strength stands at 80 and the size of the faculty is 24 and explained that the size of the faculty had dwindled due to constraints in replacing staff that had retired, passed away or left the employment of the Institute.
He said the situation was impacting negatively on overall output since the faculty available is being overstretched. He, therefore, appealed to the Ministry of Finance to grant the school financial clearance to replace staff after the Public Services Commission approved their request in January 2017.
Dr Dzisah said the Institute’s new site at North Dzorwulu is under construction, adding that the four-storey lecture and office complex had been roofed.
He stated that the GH¢4.9 million GETFund special allocation had been exhausted, with the project about 60 per cent complete.
Dr Ben Asante, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gas, said the oil and gas industry is the bedrock for the country’s industrialisation drive and that effective communication would build the synergies between industry, academia and government.
Dr Asante urged the graduates to be bold and learn from their mistakes, respect the views of others and not only base their reportage on perception but do thorough analysis of issues before disseminating their reports to the public.