Ministry slashes sanctions on FM stations by 50%

File photo. Communications Minister says the sanctions were not politically motivated

Sanctions meted out to the over 130 radio stations by the National Communications Authority (NCA) have been mitigated by the Communications Ministry.

While others received absolute pardon, some had fines imposed on them cut by 50%, a release from the Communications Ministry announced.

The stations were sanctioned by the regulator in September for committing various infractions. Some stations had their licence revoked with others being slapped with a fine as high as GHC61 million.

The reprieve, the release said, follows the presentation of the Communications Minister on the floor of Parliament on 19th October, 2017.

According to the release issued on Friday, the pecuniary penalties which were imposed on the community and institutional FM broadcasting stations have been waived.

“In addition to this, these stations are to regularise their operations; pay their outstanding indebtedness (Annual Regulatory and Spectrum fees) and submit renewal applications and all outstanding documentation as applicable within thirty (30) days from the date of this release, Friday, 20th October, 2017. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of their authorisations,” it directed.

FM broadcasting stations which had their authorisations revoked, the release said, have the option to petition the sector minister for a review within 10 days from Friday, 20th October 2017.

After receipt of their petitions, they will be reviewed on a case by case basis, following which the minister will determine the applicable sanctions, it said.

For commercial FM broadcasting stations that fines were imposed on them, they had their penalties reduced by 50%.

“Defaulting Commercial FM Broadcasting Stations that were fined by the NCA have also had their fines reduced by 50%. They have 30 days from 20th October, 2017 to pay the 50% reduced penalties or have their authorisations revoked.

“It is the expectation of the Ministry and the Authority that all defaulting FM stations will take advantage of this opportunity and ensure compliance within the shortest possible time.”

Read 76 radio stations fined over GHC1billion for various breaches

Source: | Ghana

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