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xxxxxxxxxxx of Thursday, 8 April 2021

Source: Justice Walker Junior

Communication Ministry has no power to close down stations that advertise money rituals

The general public needs to get a clear understanding that the Communication Ministry and the National Communication Authority (NCA) have no power to close down television stations that advertise money rituals.

This comes after security Analyst, Mr Adib Sani at the heat of public discussion concerning the killing of a 10-year-old boy allegedly by two teenagers at Kasoa for rituals, suggested the Ministry should do the needful by closing down such stations giving space for such advertisement.

Mr Sani in an interview with TV3 said “the Ministry of Communication and NCA should close down TV stations that advertise rituals,”

In a response written by Sandra Frimpong, the Communications Specialist at the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation indicated that, “the Ministry of Information and the National Media Commission are responsible for regulating the content broadcast on tv and radio stations.”

Read full response below:

Leave Ursula alone ooo!! When radio stations which had violated the law were sanctioned by the NCA, you were the same people baying for her blood. Now you want the MoC and NCA to shut down TV stations!!

Please, the Ministry of Information and the National Media Commission are responsible for regulating the content broadcasted on tv and radio stations. The NCA regulates the frequency and infrastructure.

They have different roles to play but be assured that the MoC and NCA will collaborate fully with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that broadcast infrastructure is used for lawful purposes and will act in accordance with the laws of the land. Self regulation is however the best form of regulation so where are GIBA and the Media Foundation for West Africa??

In February 2020, the NCA shut down a Volta Region based radio station based on the nature of content being broadcasted which had national security ramifications. There were agitations amongst Ghanaians questioning the mandate of the regulator which attracted a 4-pager statement from the Media Foundation for West Africa Chastising the Authority for such an act.

The Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in the same month was insulted from all corners of the country when she announced that the government may regulate the use of social media if users do not stop abusing the space.

Why then are we blaming the Minister, the Ministry, and her agencies? Has there been an amendment of the 1992 constitution to mandate the Ministry of Communications to censor content from any media house?

Those who claimed to know better and motivated the populace to insult, chastise and castigate can now sponsor a private bill through their members of parliament for an amendment of the 1992 constitution.

The Ministry of Communications cannot give what it does not have. ‘Nemo Dat quod non Habet’

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