The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, says the National Communications Authority (NCA) is within its rights to shut down 49 television channels it says are operating without valid licences.
He said the Authority’s action is justified as long as there is adequate proof that the affected channels were operating illegally.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, the legislator said the NCA, beyond its statement, will need to provide details of the infractions of each of the channels to ensure fairness and transparency.
“If you have not applied for a license and same [has not been] granted by the NCA, you cannot and should not be broadcasting. If they are broadcasting using spectrum without the requisite registration and license, that is illegal and so the NCA is within its rights to take them off [air]. We can’t have a situation where anybody decides they’ll broadcast whatever they want to broadcast.”
“We want [to see] the details of what the infractions are… On what basis are you terminating their broadcast rights? [But] so long as the [affected channels] are breaking the law, the NCA is within its rights,” he noted.
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.
Sam George said the different infractions by the channels, whether they were operating with expired licenses or operating without licenses, or breaching the terms of their licenses, must be disclosed by the NCA.
He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament “will accept it if the reasons [given by the NCA] are against the law.”
He said the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications will consider inviting the NCA to brief them on details of the shutdown exercise, amongst other development within the communications sector.