Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said media owners should be blamed for the job losses that are likely to occur in the media space after the National Communications Authority (NCA) revoked the license of some radio stations and imposed hefty fines on others.
The stations, numbering 131, were said to have violated aspects of the Electronic Communications Act and failed to renew their frequency renewal, and in some instances, their authorisation fees.
The NCA is therefore owed GHS1,223,790,000 by some 76 commercial and community radio stations across the country. To this end, the NCA revoked the license of some stations while others have been fined.
But the Minority in Parliament said the NCA’ s action will impact negatively on jobs in the sector. “We estimate that close to 5,000 people working in the affected stations will be rendered jobless should the current action persist,” they said in a statement, and urged the NCA to as a matter of urgency, suspend the on-going exercise and use dialogue and more flexible means to ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
But Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, reacting to the development on Accra-based Starr FM said: “It is very unfortunate people will lose their jobs, I don’t wish that on anybody but I think the people to blame is the media owners who chose not to live within the confines of the law, knowing what the possible consequences may be and let them along this song and dance more or less.
“And for them [workers] being part of an establishment which is operating illegally makes them also co-conspirators, more or less, in the on-going illegality and nobody has indicated how many thousands they are. I hear people just throwing numbers out there. A number of people who work in a community radio station are not the same as those who will work in commercial radio stations. And the commercial radio stations actually, it is even worse because they are operating a profit making venture and denying the state of the revenue that are properly due the state. In other parts of the world, if you don’t pay your taxes you thrown in jail…”