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Business News of Friday, 22 February 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Retrieve redundant radio frequency licences - Minister tells NCA

The Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, has advised the National Communications Authority (NCA) to retrieve radio frequency licences from people and institutions that are not using them and re-issue same to those interested in owning and operating radio stations in the country.

That, he said, would help reduce the number of redundant radio frequency licenses in the hands of the public while ensuring that those interested and ready to set up and operate radio stations were given the legal backing and frequencies to do so.

The minister gave the advice after paying familiarisation visit to the offices of the NCA in Accra Wednesday.

The visit was to give him first-hand information on the operation of the authority, the regulator of the local communication industry having assumed office last two weeks.

"My interaction with the management earlier showed that there are a number of redundant radio frequency licenses out there. Meanwhile, there are several people who come knocking at the doors of the NCA for licenses to operate," the minster said in a short interaction with the staff of the authority.

His observations come in the midst of reports from the NCA that frequencies for the setting up and the operation of radio stations in the country have been exhausted, thereby making it impossible for new operational licenses to be issued to interested people and institutions.

That notwithstanding, many people and institutions, according to NCA data, continued to have radio station frequencies and licenses that they were yet to make use of.

To Dr Omane-Boamah, such a disconnect was not good for the development of the communication industry.

"If someone has acquired the license and is not using it yet someone wants a license to operate, I think it will be proper to go through the process, retrieve that license and re-license it to the one interested in operating."

"That, I think, NCA can do and if we do that we will be helping to reduce the number of redundant licenses in the system and ensure that more radio stations are set up to educate our people," the minister added.

On the migration from analogue to digital television, Dr Omane-Boamah said it was impressive to know that the Communications Authority had set 2014 as the deadline for Ghana to migrate compared to the international community's mid-2015 deadline.

He later urged the staff and management of the authority to develop mutual respect for one another so as to promote a cordial working relationship among themselves.

He called on them to give up their best in a bit to improve regulatory activists in the industry.

The Director-General of the NCA, Mr Paarock VanPercy, thanked the minister for the visit and assured him of his outfit's full backing towards the implementation of the ministry's policies.

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