A student of the University of Ghana by name Malik S. Y. Basintale has petitioned the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, over the recent sanctions imposed on defaulting radio stations by the National Communications Authority (NCA).
Dated Monday, October 23, 2017, the petition accused the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, of breaching some sections of the 1992 constitution in imposing the sanctions.
According to the petition, the NCA failed to secure parliamentary approval though it had constitutional backing in sanctioning the over 130 radio stations.
After the sanctions were announced in September, the Ministry of Communications gave a mass reprieve to the defaulting radio stations, some of which had their licenses restored.
Others had their fines halved.
But Master Basintale suggests the previous flat-rate fine should be revisited.
“Mr President, I see maintaining of the previous flat rates system in fining these media houses and saving more than 7,000 reporters, editors, hosts, newscasters, bloggers among others their jobs and goodwill to be far better than taking their frequencies and reselling them for just GH¢30,000 as government revenue.”
He also complained that the timing was wrong as it comes on the eve of the passing of the Rights to Information Bill.
“I do recommend that by virtue of the fact that the Right to Information Bill will put all media houses on the same scale to getting information, we should try to create the right thing on the collection of full penalties and bills from them when all is set and done in the near future so as to favour their stands too in this matter.”
He concluded: “Mr President on this note I do appeal to your office to as a matter of urgency direct the National Communications Authority through Ministry of Communications to review and reverse their decision in the matter of revocation of media licenses.”