The NDC minority in parliament has condemned what it says is the National Communications Authority’s (NCA) draconian fines and sanctions imposed on some selected media houses bemoaning the massive job losses looming at the affected sector should the current action persist.
“The NCA does not also appear to have considered the deleterious impact this will have on jobs in the sector. We estimate that close to 5,000 people working in the affected stations will be rendered jobless should the current action persist,”the minority said in a statement Friday.
The minority’s statement follows the National Communication Authority’s (NCA) decision to slap a fine of GHc 61,330,000 against Radio Gold 90.5FM for failing to renew its license.
At least a total, of 131 radio stations including Accra-based Radio XYZ have been fined by the NCA after the completion of a nationwide FM Spectrum Audit. The sanctions by the NCA ranged from fines to the total revocation of licenses.
The NCA has also shut down pro-opposition radio station, Montie FM over the same infraction.
But the minority in its statement signed by Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, Ranking Member on the Communications Committee said his side is deeply troubled by this development which has grave implications for press freedom and media pluralism.
The statement also claimed the NCA’s action is deliberately to knock anti-government radio stations, a situation that threatens to roll back the gains made so far in entrenching a vibrant media culture.
“The current revocation and sanctions regime appears to be monetizing the right to free expression and could be construed as an effort to exact retribution particularly against stations that have traditionally been ideologically opposed to the current NPP administration,”
It however urged the NCA to as a matter of urgency suspend the on-going exercise and use dialogue and more flexible means to ensure compliance with relevant regulations,”the statement added.