Malik Basintale petitions Prez Akufo-Addo over ‘Killer’ NCA fines on Media House

A gentleman who describes himself as “A friend of the Media” has written to President Nana Akufo-Addo urging him to cause the reversal of the the fine placed on some Radio stations in the country by the National Communication Authority (NCA). Mr. Malik S. Y. Basintale urges the President to consider the disadvantage in the decision and its cost to the nation among others.

The full statement is published below.

                                                                UNIVERSITY OF GHANA,

                                                                POST OFFICE BOX LG 25,

                                                                      LEGON, ACCRA.

                                                                     23ND OCTOBER 2017.

                                                                  TELEPHONE: 0540444414.

 

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA,

HIS EXCELLENCY NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFFO-ADDO,

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,

FLAGSTAFF HOUSE,

KANDA, ACCRA.

 

Dear Sir,

PETITION FOR THE REVERSEMENT OF THE “KILLER” FINES SLASHED ON MEDIA HOUSES BY THE NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY FOR NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW.

I am Malik S.Y Basintale, a student of the University of Ghana and I write to bring to the notice of Your High Office the “unconstitutional” fines allocated to various media houses and to plead with you, Your Excellency to call the Honorable minister for communications (MP), Ursula Owusu to order on breaching sections of the constitutional requirements on finance.

Mr. President, it is on fact that the national Communications authority under the ministry of communication has the sole responsibility under the electronic communications act, 2008 passed by parliament under article (13) clause 1- clause 6 of the communications ACT to suspend and revoke licenses and frequencies in default of either requirements under the article 13 of the electronics ACT.

However Mr. President, it is not clear as to what basis was used in fining these media houses with such gigantic amounts, as the required procedure approved by legislation and known to every Ghanaian was to take all penalty considerations to parliament to be approved upon as stated by the article 174 of the 1992 constitution. Mr. president, the article 174 of the 1992 constitution does not just only demand that an act of parliament be used in binding any enactment made by an authority or person, but it must receive 2\3 of votes in parliament in a resolution before it can be implemented but on record, none of such has been done on this matter.

His Excellency, an experienced humanitarian as you are, I seek to secondly draw your attention to the number of jobs that have been lost and yet to be lost as a result of this swift decision to close down various media houses.

It is always of a high concern to a Youth like myself seeing other Young and inspiring Ghanaians go home as a result of an abrupt neglect to negotiable actions by Authorities of the state which is rather expected to have these employed Ghanaians at heart than any other entity.

Sir, I see the turn-over of about 6,000 employed youthful citizens in these industries as a dream shutter which could have simply been resolved in an amicable manner.  I am not tempted to believe the speculation of the court of public opinion in attributing this take-over to Political witch-hunt as I feel that even when the right channel is later used in enforcing the electronic communications ACT, some frequencies may still be affected but I am gradually falling for the believe that some level of personal interest by some appointees of the state are being displayed here as the article,13 clause(2) (3) sub-section{ a},{b},{c} of the electronic communications act were not properly adhered to.

Mr. president I see the maintaining of the previous flat rates system in fining these media houses and saving more than 7,000 reporters, editors, hosts, newscasters, bloggers among others their jobs and Goodwill to be far better than taking their frequencies and reselling them for just ghc30,000 as government revenue.

Lastly, Your Excellency, the right to information Bill would soon be passed and just like the liberation of communication which was done in the early democratic days of Ghana creating a safer freedom of speech and brought joy to the faces of all manner of persons, it is quiet unfortunate to see these media houses go down right before the time of the passing into being of this bill.

Sir, you would agree with me on the fact that, some media houses are virtually neglected in the exposure to first-hand information due to political victimization making them lose their relevance in the public domain. This virtually denies them the opportunity to get sufficient patronage and comparatively many media houses virtually run at a loss due to the denial of feeding them with information from institutions thus weakening their listener and viewer base.

I do recommend that, by virtue of the fact that the right to information bill will put all media houses on the same scale to getting information, we should try to create the right timing on the collection of full penalties and bills from them when all is set and done in the near future so as to favor their stands too in this matter.

Mr. President on this note, I do Appeal to your Office to as a matter of urgency direct the National Communications Authority through Ministry of communications to review and reverse their decision in the matter of the revocation of media licenses.

Thank You for your kind consideration sir.

 

MALIK S.Y BASINTALE

(FRIEND OF THE MEDIA)

+233540444414

 

CC:

THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

OSU, ACCRA

 

MAJORITY LEADER

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

OSU, ACCRA.

 

MINORITY LEADER

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

OSU, ACCRA.

 

THE MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

MISNISTRIES

ACCRA.

 

ALL MEDIA HOUSES.

 

 

 

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