– Fahngon opens up…
MONROVIA – Recently dismissed deputy minister for press and public affairs of the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Eugene L. Fahngon, has disclosed that the Ministry of Finance Development Planning (MFDP), for the past three and half years, has hijacked money intended for the Liberian media.
On 23 June, President George Weah fired Fahngon and announced his replacement the next day. The Executive Mansion announced that President Weah dismissed his tough-talking deputy minister of information, Fahngon, due to what the presidency attributed to the dismissed deputy minister allegedly spreading falsehood about the Liberian government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic scourging the country.
Howbeit, Fahngon, over the weekend, told Spoon Talk aired on Spoon FM and several other affiliate radio and TV stations that what he called the Media Intelligence Fund (MIF), intended for the local media, has been hijacked by the Ministry of Finance for the period of three and half years.
“There is something called the Media Intelligence Fund it’s supposed to go through the Ministry of Information – somehow, it got hijacked by the Ministry of Finance, over the period of the past three and the half years,” Fahngon disclosed.
As a result, Fahngon indicated that many Liberian media owners and practitioners are unhappy that they are being deprived of monies intended for them.
… “That media intelligence fund has angered a lot of people in the media,” Fahngon stressed.
Said Fahngon: “And if you see the media really angered most of the time – and I am speaking truth to power here; is because they will carry their newspapers, they will do centerspread for the government, time to pay them, they can’t get their money.”
Fahngon noted that there are instances where for three and half years, radio stations would air live programs and run advertisements for the government, and get denied of their just compensations, which he says should have been disbursed from the Media Intelligence Fund.
“They will run ads on their radio stations, carry live programs, time to get their money, they can’t get it,” Fahngon added.
Fahngon, who said the MIF is not intended to compromise media workers, recommended that if the George Weah-led government wants to cement its strained relation with Liberian media practitioners, including vocal talk radio presenter Henry P. Costa, who also appeared with the dismissed deputy minister on Spoon Talk over the weekend, the administration should refrain from withholding and consider disbursing the Media Intelligence Fund. I’m not saying they will be compromised – hear me out; I don’t care who you are, if you writing even in the newspaper and you can’t get your money, you will get pissed up. If you are on TV and you can’t get your money that you ran ads for, you will get mad,” Fahngon emphasized