DVLA, TV licence saga: 'Fire them' – Kofi Bentil to government

Fri, 5 Jan 2018 Source: classfmonline.com

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If the Director General of the Ghana Braodcasting Corporation (GBC) and the CEO of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), “truly” acted solo, respectively, on the TV licence and compulsory first aid kit fee sagas on the blindside of the government, then they must be fired, Kofi Bentil, Vice-President of think tank Imani Africa, has said.

Mr Bentil’s call follows explanations by Minister of Information Mustapha Abdul-Hamid that the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Dr. Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow unilaterally wrote to the Chief Justice for the setting up of special courts to prosecute and jail TV Licence fee defaulters.

According to him, Mr Anoff-Ntow neither consulted the National Media Commission, the GBC Board, the Attorney General, nor the Ministry of Information before taking the decision which has been met with stiff opposition from Ghanaians.

“I pointed out to the Director General that he had not done enough education. Number two, he hasn’t put in place proper mechanisms for collecting these fees. The point is that it is the National Media Commission (NMC) that is responsible for GBC…the 1992 constitution frowns on control of state-owned media so the 1992 set up the National Media Commission to be the body that superintends over the state-owned media. So, the minister of state has no mandate directly to interfere.

“So, I had to speak to NMC, speak to the board [of GBC] and say: ‘this is creating backlash for government’, because what I heard out there initially was not that: ‘GBC wants to put us in jail, it is government that wants to put us in jail’, because the power of prosecution is vested in the Attorney General, and, so, you cannot purport to be setting up courts to prosecute people without recourse to the Attorney General but the Attorney General’s office didn’t know anything about this matter.

“The National Media Commission didn’t know, GBC board didn’t know, the Ministry of Information didn’t know. The Director General of GBC on his own, on the blindside of everybody, writes to the secretary of the judicial service and says that they should set up the court…,” Mr Hamid said in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM.

On the DVLA first aid kit issue, Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover told Moro Awudu on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Thursday, 4 January 2018, that the Ministry was not consulted before the decision was made by the authority.

“This is totally unacceptable and DVLA cannot, and I repeat, unilaterally force products and prices on the public.

“Yes, we are all supposed to have first aid boxes in our vehicles [but] that is an individual position. We are in the free market, I can walk to any shop, walk to any place to buy any first aid box and put it in my car and it is the duty of the police to inspect if I have one or not. But where you want to force it on the throat of the public to buy at cut throat prices is totally unacceptable,” he said.

However, Mr Bentil wrote on Facebook that: “There’s a limit to the ‘didn’t know’ excuse. If you truly didn’t, fire them, these are not minor slips. Or we’ll believe you knew.”

“This is what incompetence looks like UNLESS YOU DISCIPLINE PEOPLE!!!!” Mr Bentil added.

Source: classfmonline.com
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