TV license: Present a ‘sensible’ message to Ghanaians – Martin Kpebu to GCB

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General News of Sunday, 7 January 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2018-01-07

Martin Kpebu P33play videoLegal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu

Legal Practitioner Martin Kpebu has admonished authorities at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to expect nothing from the public as far as TV license fees are concerned till they relay a clear, workable message on the exact purpose the monies are to serve after collection.

Attempts by the state broadcaster to reintroduce the collection of the TV license fees as funding for its activities have sparked controversy among citizens who have criticized GBC for demanding monies when their services are nothing to speak of.

The current Director General of GBC, Dr. Akuffo Annor-Ntow, made headlines recently as he pushed for the establishment of special courts to prosecute those who fail to pay their TV license fee.

Speaking on the issue on JoyNews’ news analysis show, Newsfile, Saturday, Lawyer Kpebu criticized GCB over what he describes as poor communication on the issue since its emergence. According to him, GBC has no right to push its agenda when it has not presented Ghanaians with substantial information regarding their reasons to revive the collection of the fees and the ultimate objective for it.

“I’ve stated it over and over that GBC has had a very poor communication strategy on this matter, running a two minute or one minute advert that pay your TV license does not carry this case far at all, they haven’t made that a good case for the license to be paid.

“To the extent that we are constrained, there are so many taxes to pay, the better thing to do is to come out with a clear policy on what they want to do. It’s not sufficient to just say we will improve content, what are you going to improve? Let’s have specifics.

“I’m being practical…..don’t forget, if you don’t have put together a message that is sensible to the people it will not fly. Though they are saying legally it is for installation and ownership, practically we know that after that money is collected, they want to use it for something, they haven’t outlined what they want to use it for especially in the face of the fact that they have been getting ad revenue all these decades, we don’t know how much they get from all of these…..they have not been clear with this matter at all,” he said.

Mr. Kpebu argued that the response of Ghanaians to the reintroduction of the fees is resultant of the fact that people are more knowledgeable and emboldened today and there are other media platforms compared to the previous times when GBC was the only media platform in the country.

“In those days, the coercive power of the state looked larger than today. Today we are finding more frontiers of freedom, people are feeling freer, there is the positive defiance…..compared to BBC, they don’t take adverts, but here GBC is taking monies from adverts,” Kpebu noted.

He admonished leadership of the state broadcaster to reorganise themselves on how more effectively they can generate funds and or present a better strategy outline to Ghanaians, one that will convince the populace to contribute and support their agenda.

“They should stop this implementation, go back to the drawing board, come out with a clear strategy, what do they want to do, come out with that strategy then as a populace we will interrogate, as and when we are fine with it, people will even donate more”.

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