General News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
A national taskforce made up of some security personnel and officials of the National Communications Authority (NCA) will from Wednesday, October 4, 2017, lock up radio stations whose licenses have been revoked and fined for failing to honour their tax obligations to the state as demanded by the Electronic Communications Act (2009), Act 775.
The exercise is expected to further deepen the woes of the affected radio stations, many of which have expressed their inability to pay the fine and tax owed the state ranging from GH?50,000 to GH?1.5million.
Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful revealed this in an exclusive interview with Kasapafmonline.com, Tuesday, when responding to some criticisms the NCA has received over the revocation of the licenses of 131 radio stations for non-compliance of the law.
On Friday, September 29, 2017, the NCA announced that it has sanctioned 131 FM Authorisation Holders found to have breached Section 13 of the Electronic Communications Act (2009), Act 775.
34 out of the 131 affected radio stations had their licenses revoked because their authorizations had expired and were operating illegally. A further 13 FM Authorization Holders were issued with reprieves as pertains in their authorizations while others were fined for non compliance.
The exercise was carried out following the completion of a nationwide FM Spectrum Audit conducted by the NCA to determine compliance of Authorization Holders with their Authorisation conditions and to determine which FM stations were in operations or otherwise.
The FM Spectrum Audit also formed part of a wider and on-going audit of all services regulated by the NCA, including TV and ISP services.
Commenting further, she said the exercise that was carried out by the NCA was long overdue, stressing that the revocation of the licenses was within the confines of the law.
She said the NCA was not applying the law and therefore called on critics of the exercise to be remindful of good corporate governance and support the government to go after corporate institutions that are not honouring their tax obligations.
“In fact, it was as far back in the month of June, 2017, that the NCA wrote to all the affected radio stations and shared with them their findings. And so, it is wrong for someone to sit out there and say that the NCA did not give prior notice about the exercise they were going to carry out.
The NCA has also been serving the affected radio stations with monthly notices, urging them to honour their tax obligations. Some of the stations started complying while others ignored those notices served on them.
That is why they have been punished because if we do not allow the law to work, then it will be better to even close down the Parliament of Ghana,” she noted.