General News of Monday, 9 December 2019
The National Communications Authority (NCA) has denied media reports it is plotting to shut down two radio stations of the Multimedia Group namely Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM.
The Authority described as false reports it claims are emanating from Multimedia and their media practitioners that it intends to shut down these two radio stations.
The NCA, in a release indicated that after extensive stakeholder consultations in 2011 a Policy Instrument on Reclassification of FM coverage in Ghana was concluded and published.
The Policy Instrument, it said, directed Commercial FM Operators among others to reduce their frequency coverage radii from 100KM to 45KM.
“Thus far, the Authority has ensured compliance with this Policy throughout the country and across the board by operators.”
“However, it is important to state that Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM have failed to comply with the said Reclassification of FM Coverage Policy; the two stations consequently filed an action for judicial review against the NCA at the High Court, Accra,” the release said.
According to the NCA, on 13th June 2019, the High Court dismissed the said application for judicial review, and thus upheld the Authority’s regulatory mandate to limit commercial radio stations’ coverage to 45KM.
Dissatisfied with the decision, Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM, it said, filed an appeal against the decision of the High Court to the Court of Appeal.
The two stations also filed an application for Interim Injunction pending appeal in the High Court at the Court of Appeal.
“Both Applications for Interim Injunction were struck out as withdrawn by the High Court and the Court of Appeal on 22nd July 2019 and 9th October 2019 respectively.”
“To further vindicate their rights, Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM have repeated the Injunction Application at the Court of Appeal, and same is pending for hearing.”
“As of now, and owing to this pending matter at the Court of Appeal, Joy 99.7FM Asempa 94.7FM do not have final valid Authorisations to operate radio stations in Ghana,” the release said.
The NCA noted the reports it intends to shut down Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM are therefore untrue and that it only seeks to ensure compliance with the 2011 National Coverage Reclassification Policy that these two radio stations have failed to comply with.
The Authority argued ensuring compliance with the national coverage requirement in line with the law and policy has nothing to do with a shut-down of a station and entreated the general public to disregard the falsehood being circulated in media.