Opinions Thu, 26 Oct 2017

Government should expedite action on the closure of 130 radio stations

Information is said to be the solution to every societal problem. Information empowered and created employment. It enabled people to stand for their right.

Democracy without freedom of expressions is autocracy which retires progress and cripples economic development. Human existence without adequate information is unacceptable, hence any attempt by any individual or group of people to hinder access to information either by executive or legislative instrument as a means to cripple a free flow of information should be seen as an attempt to destabilize our young democracy and infringe on constitutional provisions. Such action should be resisted with all that it deserves before it gets out of control.

Backbone of Good Governance wishes to express its displeasure on the action taken by the National Communications Authority and add its voice to many who have criticized the action of closure and withdrawal of the licences of 130 radio stations.

Backbone of Good Governance sees the act as unproductive and insensitive to the pride of Ghanaians and immediate steps should be initiated to ensure that those stations are back on air. We are happy their offences are not as a result of their reportage but on matters of fees and fines. Freedom of speech cannot be sacrificed for money. We wish to state that the step by the authority has direct impact on the economies since the economy revolves around information delivery.

We should not forget that the 130 media houses have contributed to job and wealth creation. It is obvious that the success and sustenance of our Fourth republican constitutional democracy has been widely acknowledged as the beacon of Africa democracy because of the liberalization of the air wave by the XY PNDC, Rawlings Administration. It is on record that the repelling of the criminal libel law was presided over by the current president ( Akufo Addo ) as a ministry of justice, therefore it is condemnable to experience such a harsh, unpatriotic action under his presidency .

It is evident that the charge and fines meted out by the authority to radio stations are unbearable and do not reflect the economic situation of Ghana. That is why most media houses are unable to pay and still remain closed. This gives a clear signal that something has to be done in the interest of mother Ghana, considering the economic benefit directly associated with the media jobs.

Backbone of Good Governance wishes to call on the president to intervene immediately to enable the young Ghanaian media men get back to work, possibly through debt relief to those station who are unable to pay their fines and charges to keep them in business. We again call on him to set up a committee to review the authority’s charges to reflect the economic status of the people because high charges will automatically be transferred to the final consumer in a form of high prices of goods and services.

Backbone again wishes to draw the attention of the head of state on recent job closures, specifically UT and CAPITAL BANK, and now additional 130 media workers are about to join. NANA, serious attention should be given TO THE PROBLEM since majority of our youth are still unemployed. We can’t conclude without calling on Parliament as a matter of urgency to expedite action on the freedom of information bill which has been stalled for over a decade

Thank you
Columnist: Evans Amoo
Related Articles: