Ghanaian civil servants have received a directive from President John Atta-Mills to switch off all television sets during working hours to ensure productivity. However, this has not gone down well with the government workers some of whom enjoy watching local movies even at the expense of work.
The TV ban is in force in ministries, departments and agencies, but it does not affect hospital wards, waiting rooms and receptions.
A cross section of civil servants is silently agitating because the orders are coinciding with the ongoing African Cup of Nations in Angola with Ghana taking part. However, the information ministry said that is “unfortunate” but it is necessary to achieve government target.
“We get home late as a result of the traffic and are unable to watch the live football coverage in Angola. The TV stations rebroadcast the important matches during the day and how do we benefit.
“I’m not kicking against the ban. It’s good but the timing is bad I must be honest,” a civil servant who pleaded anonymity told AfricaNews.
“We’re not so sure that this directive will so much affect Ghanaians’ love for football or ability to follow football matches. Within working hours, we’re supposed to be working,” Ghana’s Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa told the BBC.
He said failure to comply with the fiat comes with punishments before a disciplinary committee.
The directive covered working hours – 0800 until 1230 and 1330 until 1730 – so civil servants could watch football outside of those hours.
Despite being information minister, Ablakwa said he never watched television at work.
Ghana’s Black Stars play their first match on Friday against Ivory Coast.
Government workers are addicted to Nigerian soap operas and Latin American telenovelas that are shown on major television stations – TV3 and Crystal TV – during working hours.
Nigeria civil servants are going through similar ban.