Yire/Elizabeth Tetteh, GNA
Accra, July 06, GNA – The Government will soon crack the whip on radio stations, which do not comply with their licenses’ conditions, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, has announced.
“I believe the notice has gone out to over 100 radio stations that are going to be sanctioned in accordance with the Electronic Communications Act,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful stated, on Thursday, in Accra at the induction of a nine-member Board of the NCA, which is under the Chairmanship of Mr Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, an accomplished journalist.
She explained that the National Communications Authority (NCA) recently conducted an audit into the radio frequency authorisation and it had been granted approval to sanction those radio stations, which did not comply with their licenses’ conditions.
“We will apply the law strictly and I think it is incumbent on all of us to realise that the rules and regulations, which guide our operations in this country are not just meant for show, but are meant to show that we have some sanity in this space,” she cautioned.
Other members are Mr Joseph Anokye, Acting Director-General of the NCA, Mr Kwabena Adu-Boahene, Mr Bernard Aidoo Forson and Mr Philip Asare Kwame Ayesu.
The rest are Mrs Susan-Barbara Adjorkor Boye Kumapley, Mr Paul Adom-Otchere and Mr David Gyewu.
The National Media Commission is, however, yet to nominate its representative to the Board to make it complete.
Mr Justice Justin K. Dorgu, a High Court Judge, administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the new members.
In attendance were Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, a Deputy Minister of Communications, and Mr Issah Yahaya, the Chief Director.
Mrs Owusu Ekuful said the appointment to the Board of NCA was in accordance with article 70 of the Constitution, as provided for under Section 6 (3) of the NCA Act 2008, Act 769.
She said the NCA existed as the National Regulatory Authority for electronic communications and the management of spectrum, in addition to other telecommunication-related matters.
She entreated the Board to work with all stakeholders to ensure the harmonious implementation of the National Communications Policy for the continuing development of ICT infrastructure and services for public interest; and in the spirit of public-private partnership collaboration.
She also urged them to use their expertise in private, business and public administration to help enrich the strategic initiatives in the sector to meet the challenges for creating a robust and secure information and knowledge society in Ghana.
“The challenges of today demand NCA to be more responsive to the complaints of the citizenry,” she said. “Indeed, I expect greater openness and transparency in the operations of the NCA to benefit from the confidence of the public in the discharge of its duties.
“Issues of quality of communications services in the country have lately come into question attracting severe criticism from the public at large.”
She explained that this was not tolerable considering the Government’s investment in nation-wide broadband infrastructure sharing to avoid unnecessary duplication in capital infrastructure costs and to stem the rising cost of services.
She said the NCA had recently extended its operations and influence in the regions and it was her expectation that the Authority would collaborate with the other sector agencies in the regions, namely, GIFEC AND NITA to support the Government’s ICT development programmes.
“Similarly, I expect the efficient management of the nation’s radio frequency spectrum resources to complement the broadband drive and preparation for the future generation network use,” she said.
“In this regard, I entreat the NCA to collaborate with the broadcasting stakeholders to ensure the smooth process of migration from analogue to digital television transmission.”
Mr Sakyi-Addo, on behalf of the Board, expressed gratitude to the President for the honour done them.
He said they would use their experiences and expertise to help transform the communications industry.