General News of Wednesday, 11 October 2017
The National Communications Authority (NCA) says it will crack the whip on seven radio stations for defying its orders to cease operations following the expiry of their licences.
Thirty-four radio stations in the country that had their licences revoked after they were found to have been operating illegally after their authorisation expired but the NCA said seven of the affected stations continued to operate in spite of instructions for them to stop.
Two of the stations are in the Northern Region, one each in the Brong Ahafo, Greater Accra, Volta, Ashanti and Western regions.
The Director of Consumer and Corporate Affairs of the NCA, Mrs Nana Defie Badu, who declined to name the stations, said the authority had written to those radio stations to stop broadcasting or risk a physical action to shut them down.
“The NCA will be forced to go and do a physical shutdown if they fail to comply with the written instructions,” Mrs Badu maintained, explaining that some of the stations were commercial, while others were community-based.
Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2008), Act 775 states, empowers the NCA to suspend or revoke a licence or a frequency authorisation on several grounds.
They include when the licence or the authorisation holder fails to comply materially with any of the provisions of this Act; Regulations or the terms and conditions of its licence or frequency authorisation, and when the licensee or the authorisation holder fails to comply materially with a lawful direction of the authority or the licensee or the authorisation holder is in default of payment of a fee or other money charged or imposed in furtherance of this act.
The NCA last month sanctioned 131 radio stations for violating aspects of Act 775.
Apart from the 34 radio stations which had their licences revoked, 21 other stations had their authorisations revoked completely since their authorisation had expired for several years and were operating illegally.
The sanctions, according to the NCA, followed the completion of a nationwide frequency modulation (FM) spectrum audit conducted this year to determine compliance of authorisation holders with their authorisation conditions and to determine which FM stations were in operation or otherwise.