The Executive Director for Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah has questioned the National Communication Authority’s (NCA) decision to shut down some 49 Television Stations in the country.
He argued in a Facebook Post that no media house requires a license to operate in Ghana.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Supreme Law of the land, (the 1992 Constitution) says under Article 162 (3) “There shall be no impediments to the establishment of private press or media; and in particular, there shall be no law requiring any person to obtain a license as a prerequisite to the establishment or operation of a newspaper, journal or other media for mass communication or information.”
“So it is wrong to suggest that media organizations, broadcast or otherwise, require LICENSES to operate.
The National Communications Authority (NCA) has embarked on an exercise to shut down 49 Television (TV) stations for operating without Authorizations.
This forms part of a continuous monitoring exercise conducted on various Satellite Free-to-Air Television platforms using the Broadcast Monitoring System (BMS) and the Radio Spectrum Monitoring System (RSMS).
The monitoring revealed that some channels were operating without valid Authorizations, contrary to Section 2(4) of the Electronic Communications Act 775 of 2008, which states that, ‘Except as provided by this Act or any other law not inconsistent with this Act, a person shall not operate a
broadcasting system or provide a broadcasting service without a frequency authorization by the Authority’.
As a result, forty-nine (49) channels have been identified to be operating without valid Authorizations from the Authority and are being shut down accordingly.
But Sulemana contends the NCA’s action is contentious.
“The TV stations that were shut down may have been transmitting or broadcasting without a Broadcast Frequency Authorization issued by the National Communication Authority (NCA), which will then make the broadcasting activity of the TV stations illegal.
“The two are not the same. Legacy broadcast media require broadcasting frequency and one must have prior frequency authorization by the NCA in order to legally broadcast using the frequency.