Dr. Victor Massaquoi Succeeds George Khoryama as Chairman of IMC

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By Amin Kef Sesay

The newly appointed Chairman of the Independent Media Commission (IMC), Dr. Victor Massaquoi has on the 25th February 2022, officially took over office during a handing over ceremony organized at the Commission’s headquarters on 54 Siaka Steven Street in Freetown which was well attended by Commissioners and staff of the Commission.

The outgoing Chairman, George Khoryama, in his handing over statement outlined the achievements and challenges his administration faced while he was Chairman of the Commission.

He stated among other things that his administration engaged media practitioners on the repeal of Part V of the 1965 Public Order Act that criminalized libel; championed the enactment of the IMC Act 2020 and facilitated the engagement of media practitioners on compliance issues, through training of radio station managers and newspaper editors across the country. He said the IMC, in collaboration with NASSIT, organized a nationwide sensitization and training tour on compliance with the provisions of new the IMC Act 2020 that required media owners to pay NASSIT contribution for journalists employed by Media Houses.

He also intimated the incoming Chairman and Commissioners that his administration produced four (4) video documentaries that border on the Commission’s activities and other relevant engagements. He noted that under his watch the Commission achieved the revitalization of the Advertising Advisory Committee as well as the review of the 2007 Media Code of Practice on print and electronic media, which validated document was handed over to the Minister of Information and Communication (Mohamed Rahman Swaray) for drafting and Parliamentary approval.

George Khoryama concluded by informing the incoming Chairman and Commissioners that during his tenure, the Commission registered 39 radio stations out of 191, 6 television stations out of 23,47newspapers out of 229 newspapers and 6 magazines out of 24.

Among those achievements, the outgoing Chairman mentioned some of the lingering challenges faced by the Commission over the years some of which he maintained included untimely and incomplete disbursement of Government subventions to the Commission; lack of road worthy vehicle, low staff morale and poor condition of service, which had resulted to a spate of unmotivated staff which has resulted in frequent resignations of senior staff.

He therefore implored the incoming Chairman, Dr. Massaquoi, to be mindful of the many challenges faced by the Commission, which he emphasized should not be treated with kids gloves.

The incoming Chairman Dr. Victor Massaquoi commended the successes highlighted by the outgoing Chairman. He acknowledged the challenges catalogued and noted that challenges will always surface at the helm of transition and are highlights of a successful determinant of any organization. He assured Commissioners and Staff that his focus will be to build on the foundation of his predecessor through innovative idea and futuristic development strategy.

He said the 2020 IMC Act will be fully intensified to adapt new changes within the media landscape that will foster effective and efficient media regulation. He said, with his ‘Go-Getter’ personality, he will knock on doors to ensure that the Commission regains its successful glory. Dr. Massaquoi said, he will always consult the erstwhile Chairman for advice when the need arise. The ceremony was climaxed by the introduction of Commissioners and members of Staff by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Khalil Kallon.


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