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General News Fri, 29 Sep 2017

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NCA Stifling free speech – George Loh

A former Member of Parliament for North Dayi, George Loh has criticized the National Communication Authority (NCA) for sanctioning a total of 131 FM authorization holders found to have breached section 13 of the Electronic Communications act (2009), Act 775.

The move by the NCA follows the completion of a nationwide FM Spectrum Audit conducted this year to determine compliance of Authorisation Holders with their Authorisation conditions and to determine which FM stations were in operations or otherwise.

Also, the FM Spectrum audit forms part of a wider and on-going audit of all services regulated by the Authority including TV and ISP services.

Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775 states among others that “the Authority may suspend or revoke a licence or a frequency authorisation where:

(a) the licence or the authorisation holder has failed to comply materially with any of the provisions of this Act, Regulations or the terms and conditions of its licence or frequency authorisation

(b) the licensee or the authorisation holder has failed to comply materially with a lawful direction of the Authority,

(c) the licensee or the authorisation holder is in default of payment of a fee or other money, charged or imposed in furtherance of this Act, the National Communications Authority Act, 2008 (Act 769) or Regulations

(d) the licensee ceases to (i) operate the public communications network, (ii) provide the public electronic communications service, or (iii) use the frequency band.”

Speaking on the development on Morning Starr, Mr. Loh accused the NCA of stifling free speech. “If the NCA like many other state institutions go to bed for 10 years, it doesn’t lie in their mouth to come and do this kind of unorthodox thing they are doing,” he told host of Morning Starr Francis Abban.

Source: starrfmonline.com

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