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06 July 2017

NCA to sanction over 100 radio stations if… – Ursula Owusu

The National Communications Authority (NCA) will soon sanction over 100 radio stations for various infractions of the frequency regulation.

The affected radio stations would suffer penalties ranging from suspensions to revocations of their frequencies depending on the gravity of the offence.

The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu revealed this at the inauguration of a 9-member governing council for the NCA.

“…Sanctions will be applied to those who flouted the license condition, they are over a hundred and sanctions range from suspension to revocation of the authorization and some would have fines imposed upon them. They range from either expiry of the authorization, incomplete application for extension or renewal, nonpayment of fees, transfer of licenses to other agencies without prior approval of the NCA and a range of other issues.”

She explained that the NCA is taking such measures in a bid to sanitize the radio space.

nca-board-1

“We need to have some sanity in this space and so those are the measures we are putting in place to ensure that everybody who signed up to operate a radio station and this country will abide by their own license conditions that they’ve signed up to.”

When asked whether the affected stations could make up for such offences, she said a 30-day period is given to the affected stations after which the sanctions will take effect.

“They have been notified previously of the infraction that they are committing, they are not taking advantage of the notice period to make good and I believe that the law indicates that once the authority takes a decision, they give them 30 days’ notice of the intention to sanction them and once the notice goes the time starts running and within the 30 days’ notice period, they don’t have the opportunity to rectify whatever that has gone amiss.”

Ursula Owusu added that the NCA took the decision after conducting and audit into the authorization of radio stations in Ghana.

The board chaired by Kwaku Sakyi Addo has members including: Paul Adom-Otchere, Joe Anokye, Kwabena Adu-Boahene, Bernard Aidoo-Forson, Philip Asare Kwame Ayesu, David Gyewu, and Susan-Barbara Adjorkor Boye Kumapley.

GIBA vows to sue NCA over re-classification policy

The NCA had come under pressure from stakeholders in the sector including the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) in 2015 over its reclassification policy.

The reclassification of radio frequencies by the NCA was aimed at reducing the approved coverage area of radio stations operating in the country from 100 kilometre radius to 45 kilometre.

The NCA explained that re-classification of the coverage will help curb the frequent interferences of some radio stations’ transmissions into others.

Meanwhile, following the uproar, the the Authority suspended the policy pending further consultations.

By: Godwin A. Akweiteh & Sixtus Don Ullo/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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