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Pay up or shut down - Ursula to sanctioned stations

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Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has said that stations who have been sanctioned by the NCA must either pay their fines or shut down their media houses.

Addressing the media Wednesday, the minister said that the 131 stations operated illegally for a long time and it was right that they were compelled to respect the laws under which they operate.

“For those whose authorization has been revoked, the door has been shut, I don’t think that there is any room for negotiation there. I would suggest that they close up shops and think of other ventures which will enable them to survive.” She advised.

Although the MP for Ablekuma West said the move was not targeted at the media, she blamed the affected media houses for not complying with the rules of the body, thus ending up in the unfortunate situation.

“Why would you want to operate illegally for all these years if you don’t have money to pay for your license? It takes the political will to implement tough decisions,” she noted.

“The media houses who chose not to work within the confines of the laws should be blamed. Why won’t the media fight against other media houses who are not doing the right thing?”

The NCA last week sanctioned a total of 131 FM authorization holders found to have breached section 13 of the Electronic Communications act (2009), Act 775.

The move followed 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.

The move by the NCA has been described as harsh by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) while the minority in parliament say it may lead to over 5000 job losses.

Source: Prime News Ghana

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