Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has said the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) cannot impose a levy on Ghanaians because it is now a commercial media organisation competing with private media houses for sponsorship.
According to him, to the extent that the GBC has veered off its public service mandate, and become a commercial broadcaster, it cannot continue to levy Ghanaians to pay TV licence fee.
The Minority lawmaker’s comment comes on the heels of the setting up of special courts by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, upon a request by the Director General of the GBC, to prosecute TV licence defaulters.
The courts, as approved by Justice Akuffo, will be located in all the 10 regions and will sit every Thursday with effect from 4 January 2018 to prosecute persons who fail to pay their TV licence.
Mr Nartey George, commenting on the issue on Accra-based Starr FM on Wednesday, 3 January, said: “Today, nobody in this country who understands the industry can call GBC a public broadcaster, they are a commercial broadcaster like every other radio and TV station.”
He added: “The public service content on GBC is carried on almost all the major private commercial broadcasters in this country. This whole TV licensing thing is being hinged on the public service that GBC offers, but I am saying that the GBC is not a public service broadcaster.
“If you look at public service broadcasters across the world, they do not give anything commercial so the GBC is no longer a public service broadcaster, it is a commercial entity that is seeking to come under the guise of public service broadcaster to impose a levy that it should not be imposing on people.”
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