General News of Thursday, 4 January 2018
The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has described as needless the court set up by the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to hear cases regarding the non-payment of TV license fee.
The TV licensing Act 1966 (NLCD 89) of Ghana mandates the collection of license fees from persons or households owning TV sets. The collection of the fee was reintroduced in 2015.
Domestic TV users are to pay between GH¢36 and GH¢60 for one or more TV sets in a household while TV set repairers and sales outlets are to pay an annual sum of between GHc60 to GHc240. Commercial TV operators are to pay GHc36 per annum for each TV set. The Chief Justice recently set up a special TV License Court to handle cases of defaulters.
The decision has courted huge public outcry with the majority declaring they will not pay leading AFAG to call for the immediate abolishment of the process arguing that it is archaic.
Speaking Wednesday January 3, 2018 on Starr Today, Davis Opoku, a member of AFAG said, “…For the Chief Justice to set up a court to try people who refuse to pay this mandatory TV license for us it is more like taking us back to the days of old. It is against the freedom of choice, it is against giving the people the opportunity to see broad day light.”
He continued, “The court which has been set up is needless. Today the country should be talking about whether we are ready to pay TV licenses. Should the law that mandates citizens to pay TV licenses be abolished? Is it something that we should repeal from our law books? That should be the argument on the table today.”
“But to say that people who refuse to pay the TV licenses should face a certain form of actions and even go to jail…it is absolutely needless. It is backwards and it is a practice that the whole country should not accept at all,” he added.