General News of Friday, 29 September 2017
Accra based-Radio Gold, Atlantis and Radio XYZ, are among 131 radio stations sanctioned by the National Communications Authority (NCA) following the completion of a nationwide FM Spectrum Audit.
The sanctions meted out by the NCA ranged from fines to the total revocation of licenses.
During the inauguration of a nine-member governing council for the NCA in July, the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu sounded a warning in this regard.
34 of the sanctioned stations had their licences revoked because their authorizations had expired and were operating illegally.
Aside the stations having their licenses revoked, other affected stations have also been given 30 days to settle their indebtedness or submit the relevant documentation as indicated in the letters sent them by the NCA.
Of the notable stations, Radio XYZ has been fined GHc 4,090,000, Atinka FM fined GHc 14,800,000 whiles Radio Gold and Atlantis Radio picked up the heftiest fines with GHc 61,330,000 and GHc 60,350,000 respectively.
A further 13 FM Authorisation Holders have been issued with reprieves as pertains to their authorisations.
This follows the completion of a nationwide FM Spectrum Audit conducted this year to determine compliance of Authorisation Holders with their Authorisation conditions.
In a press release, the NCA said: “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,” the statement added.
This state of affairs came up before the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament where the NCA was invited to explain its actions before the committee earlier on in 2017.
The PAC indicated its displeasure with the way the NCA was regulating the broadcasting space.
The various infractions fell foul of Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775.