NCA
NCA

The National Communications Authority (NCA) following the completion of a nationwide FM Spectrum Audit, has sanctioned 131 radio stations, who failed to abide by the Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775.

Some of the radio stations according to the NCA, have refused to renew their licenses for close to 17 years. But it is unclear why the NCA has allowed these illegalities to persist for years.

Following a warning message by the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful gave during the inauguration of a nine-member governing council for the NCA, in July, 2017.

The sanction comes with fines to the point of total revocation licenses. And apart from the stations whose licenses have been revoked, the other affected ones have also been given 30 days to settle their huge debts or submit the relevant documentation, as indicated in the letters sent them by the NCA.

A total of 34 of the sanctioned stations whose authorizations had expired and were still operating illegally, had their licences totally revoked. Whereas other 13 FM Authorisation Holders, have been issued with reprieves as per their authorisations.

According to the release, “Twenty‐one (21) FM broadcasting stations have had their authorisations revoked completely since their authorisations had expired over several years and were operating illegally. They had also failed to apply for renewal 3 months before expiry of existing Authorisation and as stipulated in their Authorisation. The FM broadcasting stations in question also did not respond to a notice the NCA sent to them to regularise their operations earlier this year.

Thirteen (13) FM broadcasting stations will also have their authorizations revoked completely since their authorizations had expired and were operating illegally. They had also failed to apply for renewal 3 months before the expiry of existing Authorisation and as stipulated in their Authorisation. This section of FM broadcasting stations responded to the notice but had requested for extension of time to regularise their operations, which the NCA found unacceptable and declined.”

This issue was manifested before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, when the NCA was invited to explain its actions before the committee earlier on in 2017. Where PAC indicated its displeasure in the way the NCA was regulating the broadcasting space.

According to the Authority, per laws governing the media space, an amount of GHc10,000 is charged daily on radio stations that refuses to renew their license after expiration.

Some of the popular stations like Atinka FM was fined GHc 14,800,000, whiles Radio XYZ was fined GHc 4,090,000, Radio Gold was slapped with GHc61,330,000 and Atlantis Radio also got its share of GHc 60,350,000.

The Authority will further conduct inspection of stations after payment of fine. In applying the sanctions for these companies, the Authority had recourse to the Authority’s gazetted Schedule of Penalties which states that “Failure of a licensee or a frequency authorisation holder to commence operations within two years of the effective date of the licence or frequency, authorisation shall attract a penalty ranging from GHS20,000.00 to GHS50,000.00.

The Authority has therefore requested the underlisted companies to pay a fine of GHS50,000.00 for failure to commence operations within 2-years from the date of their authorisations as required.

XYZ Broadcasting Limited in Kumasi was fine Gh¢ 50,000.00, Wisdom FM Limited in Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region was fine Gh¢ 50,000.00

CENTRAL REGION

Stanway Global Limited ( Formerly Precision Solutions Limited) in Cape Coast – Gh¢ 50,000.00

NORTHERN REGION

Bahamus Limited in Tamale Gh¢ 50,000.00,

Mas Multi-Media Limited in Nakpanduri – Gh¢ 50,000.00

Lom Multimedia in Bunkurugu Yunyoo – Gh¢ 50,000.00

UPPER EAST REGION

Executive Broadcasting Limited in Bolgatanga – Gh¢ 50,000.00

WESTERN REGION

Special Network Limited in Takoradi -Gh¢50,000.00.

That not withstanding, it has been rumoured for some time now that, most of the stations are tagged with some political parties, and thus they are sanctioned because they are not affiliated with the current party in power.

The details of the Thirty-four (34) companies whose Authorisations have been revoked are as follows;

ASHANTI REGION

1.Price Media Company Limited. (Price FM) Kumasi – 107.3mhz

2.Amansie Communications Ltd. (Dess FM) Bekwai – 90.3mhz

3.Neat FM Company Ltd. (Hello FM) – Kumasi 101.5mhz

  1. Imperial Broadcasting Company Ltd. (Kapital Radio) – Kumasi 97.1mhz, and many others.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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