General News of Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has described as unfortunate the Minority in Parliament’s stance on the shutdown and hefty fines inflicted on some radio stations by the National Communications Authority (NCA).
The stations numbering 137 were said to have violated aspects of the Electronic Communications Act and failed to renew their frequency renewal and in some instances their authorisation fees.
This has generated huge uproar among the general populace including the Minority who believe the move is politically motivated and could also lead to loss of jobs in the sector.
But speaking at a media briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, 3 October 2017, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful who is also the Ablekuma West Member of Parliament, dismissed the claims saying they were unfortunate and ought to be withdrawn.
“We all have to be able to respect the laws and its applications dispassionately without fear or favour to all sections of society and I say let the chips fall where they may and there are no sacred cows when it comes to the agencies under the Ministry of Communication,” she stated.
She continued: “For our part, we can only insist on doing our work in accordance with the laws and rules and regulations that mandates the various agencies to operate. And for anyone to even suggest that there may be some motivation other than strict application of our laws I think is most unfortunate and I will chide the ranking member of the committee of communications for his comments that he made in that respect. I think that they were most unfortunate.
“He of all people together with members of the committee should have worked together with the NCA to ensure that the rules and regulations and the laws guiding their operations are fairly enforced. Unless they can point to some selective application of the law and I think they will be very hard pressed to do that, I think that the statement they made was most unfortunate and ought to be withdrawn.”
Touching on the Minority’s argument that the NCA’s sanction could cause job loss in the sector due to the hefty fines, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful quizzed “Why will anybody want to work in an organisation which is operating illegally?”
“Your very security of tenure is at risk because you stand a risk of suffering a fate like this. So as media persons it is incumbent on you to begin asking the elementary questions that you should ask of your media owners and managers. ‘Have we lived up to our own responsibilities under the law? We are expected to be good corporate citizens’…at the end of the day, nobody is happy that any job will be lost but that can also not be an argument for continuing to operate illegally or in violation of the law,” she added.