General News of Monday, 10 July 2017
The Akufo-Addo government, has appointed a professional barber as a member of the governing board of the National Communications Authority (NCA) led by Kweku Sekyi –Addo, ace broadcaster and a friend of the President.
Philip Asare Kwame Ayensu, owner of the elitist barbershop; Exclusive Men, located at East Legon in Accra, is a known pal of the nephew of the president, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, who is said to be in-charge of appointments at the seat of government, the Flagstaff House.
Mr. Ayensu. is also a friend of another family member of President Akufo-Addo, Nana Bediatuo Asante, who serves him in the Flagstaff House as his the Executive Secretary.
But aside Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and Nana Bediatuo Asante, Mr. Ayensu, is also close to other members of the Akufo-Addo family; both nuclear and extended.
There are suspicions that, Philip Asare Kwame Ayensu, is in-charge of Nana Akufo-Addo’s haircuts.
The believe is that, it is due to Mr. Ayensu’s close relationship with the former director of pro-NPP think tank, Danquah Institute (DI) that earned him the position.
Another friend of Gabby, who has also been appointed on the same board, is broadcast journalist and host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Paul Adom Otchere. Paul, had in the past jokingly lobbied President John Mahama to appoint him, Deputy Minister of Central Region, during an exclusive interview, while Mr. Mahama was serving as president.
Mr. Ayensu and Paul Adom Otchere, together with seven others, were sworn-in last Thursday by the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who inaugurated the board.
The NCA board is chaired by Kwaku Sakyi Addo and has other members, including: Joe Anokye, Kwabena Adu-Boahene, Bernard Aidoo-Forson, David Gyewu, and Susan-Barbara Adjorkor Boye Kumapley.
Paul Adom Otchere’s appointment, also came as a surprise to many, because he had been very close to President Mahama, Ibrahim Mahama, and also done several Public Relations job for several state institutions including the Ghana Ports and Habours Authourity (GHAPOHA) during the Mahama administration.
Indeed, at a point he was held as a member of the NDC 2016 campaign team, as he did video documentaries to project President Mahama’s second term bid.
It is unclear, what expert opinion Kweku Sekyi-Addo, Paul Adom Otchere and the barbershop owner, Mr. Ayensu, have to offer NCA, to help the country match up to the fast changing world of telecommunication.
At the inauguration, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma West, Mrs. Ekuful, said over 100 radio stations risk being sanctioned for various infractions of the frequency regulation.
The affected radio stations, she said, would suffer penalties ranging from suspension to revocation of their frequencies, depending on the gravity of the offence.
“…Sanctions will be applied to those who flouted the license condition, there 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 was taking such measures to sanitize the radio space.
“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 in this country, will abide by their own license conditions that they’ve signed up to.”