GHAMRO Chairman should respect music right owners

Carlos Sakyi

Carlos Sakyi

Following recent publications by the Interim Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Mr. Carlos Sakyi, which sought to attack my personality instead of dealing with the issues raised in my letter sent to him and other board members dated 16th April2014, I would like to assure right owners and the general public that his evasive strategy will not stop the leadership of MUSIGA and right owners from demanding transparency, accountability and good governance  administrative system at GHAMRO.

I would like the general public and stakeholders to know that the issues at stake are not between Obour and Carlos Sakyi or MUSIGA and GHAMRO but has to do with the heart of music business and right owners concerns. The concerns listed in my letter to GHAMRO are joint concerns from Music Right Owners across the country in all the ten regions of the Nation who look up to me as the President of the Musicians Union of Ghana for a solution to ensure that the right things are done.

These concerns have delayed in coming from my office because as a member of the Board, I had faith and kept hoping that we could make amends as time went by. It will interest you to know that all concerns raised in my letter have been raised at various Board meetings without any favourable response.

As you read this,  no response have been given to the said letter, which among other things requested for an emergency board meeting though formal and informal reminders have been sent. However, the Interim Chairman has been quick to issue media statements which do not even talk to the issues being raised.

In view of this, I am compelled to respond to the unfortunate comments the Interim Chairman, Mr Carlos Sakyi has been making in the media about myself and the Union which is bigger than all of us.

I am so surprised that, Carlos Sakyi, one of the ‘loudest’ Copyright Advocates before becoming GHAMRO Chairman, would handle issues this way now that he has all the power to make lives better for rights owners.

After all, this is Carlos Sakyi’s published comments as a Copyrights Advocate in 2008 when Alhaji Sidiku Buari was the Head of our Collecting Society.

“Cosga is a public institution, but the money it has in its coffers is for musicians, and composers to whom, only, the society must be accountable. The sad news is that musicians have no idea what they are due, what is in the coffers for them, how their monies are invested, what interest have accrued….Nobody knows how much and how those monies have been disbursed. The entire system is dysfunctional. We can only talk about investors when the Industry is purged of all the filth and improprieties bedeviling it. Who will invest in an industry that has no Accounting regimen, logging system to determine how artistes should be remunerated; a sector that does not hold general meetings and is not accountable to its own members quite in contrast to what pertains in countries like South Africa”. That was Carlos Sakyi’s statement published in the Spectator in December 2008

I believe there’s nothing wrong asking him the same, on behalf of Ghanaian musicians and rights owners, now that he is the Head of our Collecting Society and we find ourselves in the same unacceptable situation.

Thousands of rights owners who are MUSIGA members will not forgive me if I remain silent over issues which are of concern to them and MOST IMPORTANTLY ENSURING THAT THE RIGHT REFORMS ARE BROUGHT INTO GHAMRO OPERATIONS to ensure they benefit from their good efforts.

On the 11th May 2014, it will be three (3) years since GHAMRO commenced its operations.  Is it wrong as the President of MUSIGA representing the largest number of right owners on the GHAMRO board, to ask for:

  • A yearly Financial Report which is mandatory per the rules of GHAMRO.
  • Register of members of the organization.
  • List of Employees, their responsibilities and emoluments.
  • Minutes of previews board meetings.
  • Organization of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is also mandatory per GHAMROs regulations.
  • The setting up of an independent election committee to organize election to elect substantive Board members since the term of the Interim Board which I am a member has expired.
  • Implementation of best practices in royalty distribution by enforcing a logging system that can be used to determine what a right owner earns accordingly.

I would like to assure all right owners who are also members of MUSIGA that we won’t give up. We are doing all we can to ensure the needed reforms are made at GHAMRO to ensure the utmost benefits for right owners.

Signed: Bice Osei Kuffour

President of MUSIGA,

NTERIM BOARD MEMBER- GHAMRO

8th May 2014

 

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