GIBA ready to sue NCA over re-classification policy

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The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) hasgiven

indications that it is prepared to resort to the Supreme Court if the

National Communications Authority (NCA) refuses to stop its new

re-classification policy.

The policy is aimed at reducing the approved coverage area of radio

stations operating in the country from 100 kilometre radius to 45


The NCA has explained thatre-classification of the coverage will help

curb the frequent interferences of some radio stations' transmissions

into others.

The Authority has thus suspended temporarily, the issuance of

frequencies to prospective applicants.

The Vice President of GIBA, Samuel Attah-Mensah on Eyewitness News

however said the new policy is unfair and will ultimately collapse the

operations of radio stations.

He pointed out that members of GIBA would have had no qualms with the

new policy if "at the time of being given the frequency, you let it

known to me that I have only 45 kilometre radius upon which I will

build my business so what it means is that we would have to let people

go home because if I am going to reduce my coverage, it means I am

going to reduce my market share, my revenue and the number of people I


"We are prepared to go as far as the Supreme Court," he said.

He disclosed that the NCA in 2012 proposed that it was going to

undertake the reclassification exercise and subsequently opened

discussions where they made certain proposal on the policy but

according to him, the authority did not give GIBA any feedback and

rather surprised them with a unilateral implementation.

"Then we get to 2015 and we are told that the policy has begun and

they've started implementing the policy so when you go for renewal of

your licence, you are given 45 kilometres of radius footprint to

operate within," he said.

GIBA's Vice President revealed that both the executives of the

Association and officials from GIBA have visited six regions so far

and the reaction to the new policy is that of "shock."

GIBA is thus calling on the President and the Communication Minister

to intervene "because we think that it is unfair."

He complained saying, "you presenta business plan based on which you

are issued a licence to operate and each license is given the radius

within which it should operate so you build your business based on

this mandate. Now halfway through,you are told that they have

decidedand some of the reasons they have given for reducing our

footprint – reasons like there is so much demand for frequencies – I

mean, frequency is not a simple commodity. There is so much demand for

frequencies for telecom operations but do you just wake up and give

people because they want to build mobile phone networks?"

Mr. Attah-Mensah argued that the new policy does not make economic

sense because "if you are listening to Peace FM for instance, the

moment you get to Kasoa in theCentral Region, the active signals of

Peace FM will start vanishing; Joy FM, Citi FM, Adom FM."

Credit: Citifmonline.com

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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