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TV Licensing Act should cover households, not individuals – Lecturer

A senior lecturer at Accra Technical University, Dr. Ibrahim Zuberu has called on the executive and the legislature to take a second look at the Television Licence Act. According to him, the Act at its current state will unnecessarily burden the poor and send many to jail.

He therefore wants the law reviewed so that households are made to pay instead of individuals owning television, explaining that “it will lessen the pressure on Ghanaians who are complaining of harsh economic living conditions”

“When I was in Britain, their system is different and flexible and many of our government officials know this. But they are only looking for way to make us pay more tax. In Britain, they charge a household, and even that one, we pay quarterly so why do we charge individuals here (in Ghana). The law should be reviewed, our parliamentarians have disappointed us.”

The TV licensing Act 1966 (NLCD 89) as amended, directs that a “a person shall not install or use a television receiving set unless there is in existence in relation to that set a valid television receiving set license granted by the licensing authority.”  Also, the Act directs that “a person shall not carry on the business of selling, hiring or otherwise disposing of television receiving sets or of repairing television sets unless that person holds a valid dealers’ licence, granted by the licensing authority in relation to the respective business.”

Per the current system, dealers in television sets will pay GH¢5 per month, while commercial license users will pay GH¢3 per month for a television set. Those with more than one television set will pay extra fees.

Repairers are also not left out as they are liable to pay GH¢5 per month or GH¢60.00 per annum/per outlet while retailers and sales outlets are to pay GH¢20.00 monthly/per outlet or                                                            GH¢240.00 per annum/per outlet.

But Dr. Ibrahim Zuberu argued that the law is not friendly to Ghanaians especially with the introduction of a special court to prosecute individuals who default in payment. He maintained that if the law were to cover a household, with proper education, there will not be a need for any court before people pay.

He also challenged government officials including the president and the Chief Justice to produce their receipt of payment in the past.

“There are a lot to this TV licence thing, let the President, the Chief Justice and the MPs show us receipt if they actually pay TV licence. This law will only see poor Ghanaians in jail” he told Bright Kwesi Asempa on Onua Fm morning show on Wednesday.

By Bright Dzakah/Onua 95.1fm/3news.com

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