Politics of Sunday, 31 December 2017
Controversial musician and sympathizer of the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP) Kwame Asare Obeng aka A Plus has cautioned the government against the prosecution of persons who fail to pay their mandatory television licence fees beginning January 4, 2018.
The Chief Justice Gloria Akuffo has set up 11 special TV Licence Courts across the regions to try defaulters of the licence fees reintroduced in 2015. The courts, which will sit in the 10 regional capitals plus Tema on Thursday’s, will be presided over by 11 designated circuit court judges.
“The time for the Court sitting is 8:30 am to 4:00 pm,” a statement signed and issued by the Judicial Secretary Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong stated.
The establishment of the special courts by the chief justice followed a request made by the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow on November 6, 2017. The Television Licensing Act – 1966 (NLCD 89) established the TV licence fees. In 1991, it was amended.
The law states: “Except as otherwise prescribed, 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 licence granted by the licensing authority under this Act”.
The licence fee has been categorised into three- first category is the domestic use, which is GH¢36 per TV and GH¢60 for two or more TV sets in the same house.
TV set repairers and outlets pay GH¢60, while TV dealers pay GH¢120.
Revenue will be shared in percentage terms among Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), 72%, Ghana Independent Broadcasting Association (GIBA), 15%, National Media Commission (NMC), 4%, Media Development Fund, 4%, Films Fund, 2% and Management of TV Licence Fee (GBC), 3%.
But A Plus in a Facebook comment, argued that the controversial fees being charged doesn’t make sense, adding that the government will be digging its own grave if it allows the prosecution of defaulters to proceed.
“What is on GTV that anyone must go to jail for not paying to watch!!! First, it was tow levy. Now it’s this nonsense. I will never pay!!! 2018, I will organize a demonstration against TV license. I want to be the first to go to jail for not paying TV license. Ghanaians are under pressure already. Bring this nonsense and jail them and see what will happen in 2020. Abi you remember the motor court? Nkwasiasem nkoaaa!!! Go on!!!”