General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
All television stations in the country are currently undergoing a special audit to ascertain their conformity to rules and regulations, and to ensure they adhere to professional standards, Communications Minister Ursula Owusu Ekuful has said.
The National Communications Authority (NCA), which falls under the Communications Ministry, has said it is poised to streamline the operations of all companies within the industry; and those that fall short of compliance with regulations will be sanctioned.
Officials of NCA have said that their recent actions against radio stations that have violated their terms of authorisation was not an act of political witch-hunting.
Addressing the press in Parliament, the Communications Minister explained the audit was conducted to ensure that some sanity prevailed in the radio space.
“It will not be limited to only the FM radio stations; there is an ongoing audit of TV stations as well. Thankfully, they are being migrated onto the digital platform; so, any one of those stations which are currently enjoying test transmission, that does not live up to its obligations under the rules and regulations setting it up, will not be migrated onto the platform and would, by so doing, cease operations.
“I think this is the only way we can send a clear signal that we must make our laws work. It is critical to ensure that, as in every other civilised society, the rules and regulations we all agree to – ceding part of our own rights and obligations for the general good – are applied without fear or favour, or malice or ill-will, and dispassionately to everyone who may be caught,” she said in an interview.
The National Communications Authority (NCA) has sanctioned a total of 131 radio stations for violating certain aspects of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775.
The offences included operating without a licence, and operating with an expired licence among others.
The sanctions ranged from fines to the total revocation of licences. Radio XYZ was fined GH¢4,090,000, while Atinka FM was fined GH¢14,800,000.
Radio Gold and Atlantis Radio were fined GH¢61,330,000 and GH¢60,350,000 respectively.
Kapital Radio in Kumasi, which has been in existence for about 20 years, had its licence revoked outright.