Defaulting radio stations yet to pay authorisation fees-NCA

The Director General for the National Communications Authority (NCA), Joseph Anokye has revealed that some radio stations are yet to settle their authorisation fee despite the amnesty granted them in 2017.

According to him, while some of the radio stations who almost had their authorisations revoked last year “have come in to remedy the situation, other defaulting stations have not.”

Responding to questions at the Meet the Press on Thursday, Joseph Anokye said,  “as at last week we had actually written to all those affected by the sanction per the recommendations of the Electronic Tribunal.”

“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,” he added.

The 131 stations sanctioned by NCA for breaching Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775 were granted amnesty in 2017.

All fines were reduced to cover just a one-year period.

The Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, announced this during the 22nd Ghana Journalists Association Awards last year. She said there was the need for justice to be tampered with mercy.

“Even though we are insisting on the full application of the law, sometimes, we must be a little lenient in our efforts to apply the laws knowing that it may have achieved the purpose for which we started on that exercise.”

The NCA sanctioned 131 stations for various offences in September 2017 and these sanctions ranged from the withdrawal of licenses to the imposition of fines, mostly retrospective, amounting to over GHc 1 billion.

Ninety-seven of the stations picked up fines, with Radio Gold and Atlantis Radio picking up the heftiest fines of GHc 61,330,000 and GHc 60,350,000 respectively.

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