The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has today, July 23, 2020 directed the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful to suspend directives to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to reduce its number of channels on the Digital Terrestrial Television platform from six to three.
This comes after the directive from the Minister to the GBC and Crystal Television has faced stiff opposition from the parties involved and the Minority in Parliament.
According to the President, the suspension is to allow for further stakeholder consultation into the matter which has generated opposition.
The Communications Minister in a letter directed the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to reduce its channels from six to three on the DTT in order to free up space.
The Minister’s letter said “this is to ensure there is redundancy on the National DTT platform which is currently at full capacity.”
“You will, therefore, be required to consolidate your programming in line with this directive,” the June 26 letter read.
The letter further stated that after the planned future expansion of capacity on the network, which has been delayed by the pandemic and the uncertainties generated in global supply chains, the GBC will be allocated additional channels.
The Ministry’s directive to the state broadcaster will have to be effected within 60 days, according to the letter.
But the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation indicated in a letter to the National Media Commission that closing down three of its channels will be a total closure of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and therefore called on the NMC to intervene on its behalf.
The NMC in its statement “The Commission wishes to state clearly that the directive given to GBC and Crystal TV by the Minister for Communications purports to usurp the constitutional mandate and authority of the National Media Commission and same cannot be obliged under our current constitutional dispensation,” the NMC said.
“It is the view of the Commission that any action by any entity which culminates into limiting or depriving the media of the use of public resources legitimately allocated to them undermines their capacity to serve the nation as anticipated by the Constitution….The Commission wishes to state clearly that the directive given to GBC and Crystal TV by the Minister for Communications purports to usurp the constitutional mandate and authority of the National Media Commission and same cannot be obliged under our current constitutional dispensation,” it explained.