A member of the Communications Committee of Parliament Samuel George Nartey says the Minister for Communications Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is refusing to back down on the decision to withdraw the authorization of Accra based Radio Gold.
The Communications committee has been working to get the Ursula Owusu led ministry to restore the authorization of Radio Gold and Radio XYZ by starting an arbitration process which has seen the two stations put in fresh applications on the demand of the ministry.
Speaking on current affairs analysis program Alhaji & Alhaji over the weekend, Samuel George Nartey said Radio Gold and Radio XYZ may remain closed for a long time because the Communications minister is refusing to rescind her decision.
The Ningo-Prampram MP said the minister revealed her unpreparedness to restore the licenses of the two radio stations when she appeared before the Communications select committee of parliament.
According to the MP, Radio Gold and XYZ have judiciously complied with the demands of the minister and wondered why Urusla Owusu was repaying the good faith of the two radio stations with bad faith.
The revelation is sharp contrast with a recent claim by the minister and the National Communications Authority that the latter was considering the fresh applications of the two radio stations.
Speaking at a recent meet the press forum, Ursula Owusu said the NCA had already cleared some 15 radio stations whose authorizations had expired after evaluating their fresh applications and assured that the remainder radio stations which had put in fresh applications were being considered.
Samuel George Nartey however says the NCA has completed work on the application of Radio Gold but is unable to clear the radio station to resume operations because the minister had made herself the final authority on the issue and was refusing to clear the stations.
“The Communication committee called NCA, the ministry and radio Gold and XYZ on the application of Radio Gold and XYZ for arbitration. The minister gave criteria upon which she would rescind her decision. Let me state that Radio Gold met, brought the evidence of meeting that criteria. The mister says, after Radio Gold had met her own criteria for rescinding her decision, she said she changed her mind so she would not rescind her decision,” he stated
Samuel George Nartey’s revelation is the second time a member of the Communications select committee of parliament has raised an issue with the minister’s insistence on keeping Radio Gold off its traditional 90.5 frequency with the ranking member Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini raising similar concern earlier.
The Sagnarigu MP earlier accused the minister of beating a retreat from the agreement she had with the committee over the matter.
He said the minister had agreed to give the fresh applications of the two radio stations favourable consideration if they withdrew from the tribunal some legal actions they had instituted.
The two stations were shut down on the instructions of the National Communications Authority (NCA) on May 9, 2019 under circumstances that have been widely condemned for allegedly not renewing their licenses. The radio stations have remained closed since then.
Story by: Sena Nombo/Radiogoldlive.com