The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has directed the Minister for Communications, Madam Ursula Owusu-Ekuful to suspend her directive to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to reduce its channels from six to three on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform.
Akufo-Addo says putting the move on hold has become necessary “pending further consultation with stakeholders”.
“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, 23rd July 2020, directed the Minister for Communications, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP, to suspend the implementation of the directives given to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), in connection with the reduction of GBC’s channels on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform,” a statement from the Communications Directorate of the Jubilee stated.
Earlier, the National Media Commission (NMC) prevented the Ministry of Communications from limiting the channels of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and Crystal TV on Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform.
This was after it received a petition from GBC on the matter.
In a statement, the NMC said the directive usurps its mandate, hence cannot be approved.
“The Commission wishes to state clearly that the directive given to GBC and Crystal TV by the Minister for Communications purports to usurp the constitutional mandate and authority of the National Media Commission and same cannot be obliged under our current constitutional dispensation,” NMC said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo.
“It is the view of the Commission that any action by any entity which culminates into limiting or depriving the media of the use of public resources, legitimately allocated to them undermines their capacity to serve the nation as anticipated by the Constitution.”
The Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in a June 26 letter directed GBC to reduce its channels from six to three.
She, in a separate letter, ordered Crystal TV to also limit its three channels on the DTT platform.
The Minister gave both media houses 60 days to comply with the directive.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful defended the order, noting that it had become unsustainable for the government to be covering the cost of GBC’s channels on the National Digital Terrestrial Television platform.