Shutdown of 49 TV stations long overdue – GIBA

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The President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Andrew Danso-Aninkorah, has welcomed the National Communications Authority’s plan to shut down 49 television channels operating without authorization across the country.

According to him, the move is long overdue and is important in ensuring sanity in the Ghanaian media space.

Speaking on Citi FM, the GIBA President said although he was not sure whether the affected channels were given ample time to regularize their authorization prior to the NCA’s decision, he believes they will be able to recommence broadcasting once they secure the relevant authorization.

“I think that this is long overdue, for the NCA to sanitize the media space. Again, I don’t know whether they were given enough time to regularise themselves with the NCA. I think this is something that is ongoing and a lot of them, when they have regularised their operations with the NCA, will be able to come back to work,” he said.

The National Communications Authority (NCA), in a statement on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, said it intends to shut down some 49 television channels in the country because they were operating without valid licences, contrary to Section 2 (4) of the Electronic Communications Act 775 of 2008.

Some of the affected channels are Virgin TV, Kiss TV, Maranatha TV, Kwaku Bonsam TV, Obuor TV and Thunder TV, whose owner, Patience Asiedua, popularly known as Nana Agradaa, was arrested during the exercise for alleged money charms claims.

Andrew Danso-Aninkora said the broadcasting space must be managed properly to the advantage of all and the NCA has a duty to ensure that.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director for the Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah, is calling for the prosecution of persons behind the illegally-operating channels.

He said, with their actions contravening the country’s laws, they must be made to face the law, adding that a shutdown of their stations is not enough.

“If indeed they were broadcasting without authorization or expired authorization, then that certainly is a crime because if it is not, then all of us will decide one day to set up a frequency and start to broadcast. People who commit crimes certainly will have to be prosecuted. There were individuals behind it and so if it is established that indeed they were broadcasting without authorization, then certainly they must face the law.”

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