General News of Monday, 2 October 2017
Owner of Accra-based OXY FM says he will not be able to pay the hefty penalty the National Communications Authority (NCA) slapped on his radio station for non-compliant of media regulation.
Alfred Larbi told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Newsnight Monday even if he were to sell his children, he will not be able to raise the ¢1.5 million fine slapped on his station by the NCA.
He said it is never true that his radio station flouted the NCA’s rules governing the renewal of licenses in the country.
“The law says you have to notify them three months when the license expires which I did. Then they sent me a letter acknowledging receipt that they are going to study it and get back to me,” he said.
He said he never heard from the Authority again until he received a notice of suspension with the demand for some documents including his tax clearance.
“I sent it to them and they rejected it, the next time I heard from them was to get a penalty which is wrong,” aggrieved Mr Larbi said.
His comments came three days after NCA sanctioned some 131 radio stations for various offenses including nonpayment of fees and renewal of licenses.
According to him, the NCA is in the wrong since he did not violate the terms of his license.
“They gave me a wrong letter, even they quoted a wrong frequency on my letter. I am broadcasting on 98.5 FM but they sent a bill through 89.9 FM,” he observed.
Meanwhile, the National Executive Council meeting of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) ended inconclusively as the Council continuous to review the cases of affected members.
The President of the Association, Andrew Danso Anninkora said they are unable to state their position on the matter due to the failure of some of their members to forward the necessary documentation for review.
“We looked at some of the complaints from our members, regarding the letters they have received from the NCA. We believe it is possible to have a meeting with the NCA,” he said.
“They [members] have various reasons for which they are being penalized and we are putting them all together so that when we meet with the NCA we will be able to present them one by one for discussion,” he said.
Mr Danso Anninkora said he does not fault the NCA because they appeared to be working within the ambit of the law but he believes in sitting down with them to find an amicable solution.
Though lawful, he believed the NCA was harsh in the decision it has taken.
However, Mr Danso Anninkora said they are counting on the trust and relationship they have developed with the Authority over the years to enable them find an amicable solution.
“At the end of the day, these are businesses that must be protected and I believe we will be able to do that,” he said.