The Minority members on the Communications Committee of Parliament have challenged the authority of the Minister of Communications in writing to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to reduce the number of its channels on the National Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network.
Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram Constituency Sam Nartey George, who is a member of the Committee, said it is not within the remit of Ursula Owusu-Ekuful to order the shutdown of the channels.
In a letter dated 26th June, 2020, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful directed the Director General of the state broadcaster to within 60 days reduce its channels from six to three.
“This is to ensure that there is redundancy on the National DTT platform which is currently at full capacity,” the Ablekuma West MP wrote.
“You will therefore be required to consolidate your programming in line with this directive.”
But she assured in her correspondence that in future, when GBC plans to expand its capacity on the network, “you will be allocated additional channels”.
But Sam George told journalists in Parliament on Wednesday that GBC is not an agency under the Ministry of Communications to take instructions from the sector minister.
“The GBC is under the Ministry of Information,” he stressed.
“We would have loved to see a directive from the sector minister.”
He said this is akin to the Minister of Interior writing to the Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), instructing him to release military officers, when they are under the Minister of Defence.
“If the Minister of Communications did have any need for channels, the right procedure would have been to request from her colleague minister, the Minister for Information, to respond or do what she wanted to do.”