NCA sanctions against radio stations not witch-hunting – George Andah

Deputy Communications Minister, George Nenyi Andah

The Deputy Communications Minister says the National Communication Authority (NCA)’s sanction against some 131 radio stations for flouting some rules is not a witch-hunting exercise.

George Nenyi Andah said the NCA’s action is aimed at sanitising the country’s airwaves that is replete with radio stations that have no regard for rules and regulations.

He said he has heard claims that some of the sanctioned radio stations were assigned their frequencies because of their political influences.

Speaking to Malik Abass Daabu on Upfront on the JOYNEWS channel on MultiTV Wednesday, Mr Andah has challenged anyone who believes the NCA sanction was a political vendetta to prove their claim.

“It is a fruitless to witch-hunt anyone because that is not part of the [NCA’s] exercise,” he said.

About 131 radio stations were slapped with hefty penalties for various offences including nonpayment of fees and renewal of radio licenses last week.

The communication regulator also revoked the licenses of some others in accordance with Section 13 of the Electronic Communications Act, 2009 (Act 775).

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has hinted television stations that have defaulted in the payment of their renewal fees may find themselves in similar situations as the affected radio stations.

She told Joy News Tuesday, the NCA is putting together a report, which will detail TV stations that have not been complying with the laid down rules and regulations.

But the Minority in Parliament has deplored the NCA’s action, describing it as an attempt by the current government to witch hunt opposition media houses that took a dead at the NPP in lead up to the 2016 general elections.

It argued the sanction of ¢10,000 a day levelled against some radio stations is draconian and misplaced.

But contrary to the position of the Minority, Mr Andah said information on social media indicates the NCA is basking in more adulation for its action than criticism.

On the issue of granting Amnesty to the affected radio stations, Mr Andah said everything is possible but cautions the final decision rests with the Authority in the consultation with the Communications Ministry.

He noted there are several applications for frequencies current before the Authority, adding applicants might be lucky if the defaulted radio stations are unable to meet the NCA’s penalty deadline.

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