President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Andrew Danso-Aninkora, says the National Communications Authority’s shut down of 49 television channels across the country that have been operating without authorization is in the right direction.
He explained that, such an exercise was long overdue and is important in ensuring the media space in the country is sanitised.
He said on Accra based Citi FM that although he was not sure whether the affected channels were given ample time to regularise their authorization prior to the NCA’s decision, he believes they will be able to recommence broadcasting once they secure the relevant licenses.
“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 regularize themselves with the NCA. I think this is something that is ongoing and a lot of them, when they have regularized 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 is shutting down 49 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.
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 illegal operating channels.
He said, with their actions contravening the country’s laws, they must be made to face the law.
“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.”