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NCA warns defaulting radio stations to settle authorisation fees

General News of Friday, 14 December 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Joseph Anokye Ncaplay videoJoseph Anokye is the Director General of NCA

The Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA) has disclosed that some radio stations are yet to settle their authorisation fee even after they were given a general amnesty last year.

Joseph Anokye said while some of radio stations who almost had their authorisations revoked last year have come in to remedy the situation, others defaulting stations have not.

Answering questions during the Communication Ministry’s Meet The Press series in Accra, Thursday, he said, “as at last week we had actually written to all those affected by the sanction per the recommendations of the Electronic Tribunal.”

In September last year, the NCA sanctioned 131 FM Authorisation Holders whom it said have violated various aspects of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775.

A further 13 FM Authorisation Holders were issued with reprieves as pertains to their authorisations.

The Authority also revoked completely the Authorisations of 21 FM stations whose authorisations had expired over several years and were operating illegally.

“They had also failed to apply for renewal three months before the expiry of existing authorisation and as stipulated in their Authorisation.

“The FM broadcasting stations in question also did not respond to a notice the NCA sent to them to regularise their operations earlier this year,” the NCA explained in a release.

The Communications Minister told Parliament that the authorisations of radio stations that were revoked will be re-issued to new applicants.

After a lot of hue and cry, the affected stations went to the Electronic Communications Tribunal, which settles issues in the communication space.

According to Mr Anokye, “The Electronic Tribunal decided that at the time that the sanctions were made, the authorization had actually expired and so there was no basis of fining them.

“This means that if the authorization had expired you have to make decisions appropriately, and that is what we have done.”

In December 2017, however, the NCA Board of Directors granted an amnesty to defaulting radio stations.

In a related development, Mr Anokye said there is no way an FM radio station can operate in the country without the NCA’s knowledge.

He said they have the Broadcast Monitoring Center which gives the Authority of the overview of the broadcast space both radio and on television.

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