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Govt to crack the whip on recalcitrant radio stations

By Iddi
Yire/Elizabeth Tetteh, GNA

Accra, July 06, GNA – The Government will soon
crack the whip on radio stations, which do not comply with their licenses’
conditions, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, has
announced.

“I believe the notice has gone out to over 100
radio stations that are going to be sanctioned in accordance with the
Electronic Communications Act,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful stated, on Thursday, in Accra
at the induction of a nine-member Board of the NCA, which is under the
Chairmanship of Mr Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, an accomplished journalist.

She explained that the National Communications
Authority (NCA) recently conducted an audit into the radio frequency
authorisation and it had been granted approval to sanction those radio
stations, which did not comply with their licenses’ conditions.

“We will apply the law strictly and I think it
is incumbent on all of us to realise that the rules and regulations, which
guide our operations in this country are not just meant for show, but are meant
to show that we have some sanity in this space,” she cautioned.

Other members are Mr Joseph Anokye, Acting
Director-General of the NCA, Mr Kwabena Adu-Boahene, Mr Bernard Aidoo Forson
and Mr Philip Asare Kwame Ayesu.

The rest are Mrs Susan-Barbara Adjorkor Boye
Kumapley, Mr Paul Adom-Otchere and Mr David Gyewu.

The
National Media Commission is, however, yet to nominate its representative to
the Board to make it complete.

Mr Justice Justin K. Dorgu, a High Court
Judge, administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the new members.

In attendance were Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, a
Deputy Minister of Communications, and Mr Issah Yahaya, the Chief Director.

Mrs Owusu Ekuful said the appointment to the
Board of NCA was in accordance with article 70 of the Constitution, as provided
for under Section 6 (3) of the NCA Act 2008, Act 769.

She said the NCA existed as the National
Regulatory Authority for electronic communications and the management of
spectrum, in addition to other telecommunication-related matters.

She entreated the Board to work with all
stakeholders to ensure the harmonious implementation of the National
Communications Policy for the continuing development of ICT infrastructure and
services for public interest; and in the spirit of public-private partnership
collaboration.

She also urged them to use their expertise in
private, business and public administration to help enrich the strategic
initiatives in the sector to meet the challenges for creating a robust and
secure information and knowledge society in Ghana.

“The challenges of today demand NCA to be more
responsive to the complaints of the citizenry,” she said. “Indeed, I expect
greater openness and transparency in the operations of the NCA to benefit from
the confidence of the public in the discharge of its duties.

“Issues of quality of communications services
in the country have lately come into question attracting severe criticism from
the public at large.” 

She explained that this was not tolerable
considering the Government’s investment in nation-wide broadband infrastructure
sharing to avoid unnecessary duplication in capital infrastructure costs and to
stem the rising cost of services.

She said the NCA had recently extended its
operations and influence in the regions and it was her expectation that the
Authority would collaborate with the other sector agencies in the regions,
namely, GIFEC AND NITA to support the Government’s ICT development programmes.

“Similarly, I expect the efficient management
of the nation’s radio frequency spectrum resources to complement the broadband
drive and preparation for the future generation network use,” she said.

“In this regard, I entreat the NCA to
collaborate with the broadcasting stakeholders to ensure the smooth process of
migration from analogue to digital television transmission.”

Mr Sakyi-Addo, on behalf of the Board,
expressed gratitude to the President for the honour done them.

He said they would use their experiences and
expertise to help transform the communications industry.

GNA

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