The Vice-President of policy think tank Imani Africa, Mr Kofi Bentil, has criticised the National Communication Authority (NCA) for shutting down some six radio stations in the country…
The Vice-President of policy think tank Imani Africa, Mr Kofi Bentil, has criticised the National Communication Authority (NCA) for shutting down some six radio stations in the country.
Some of the stations affected include Radio Gold, Radio XYZ and Space FM.
The private legal practitioner was of the view that although the NCA had every legal authority to withdraw the frequency licence given to the stations for flouting the terms and conditions of its usage, shutting them down totally was wrong.
“I have a problem with shutting down a radio station. I don’t have a problem with withdrawing or restricting the use of the radio frequency. In other words, they could have taken them to court and taken their money or their frequency from them but they should not have stopped them from broadcasting,” Mr Bentil told Felicity Naana Nelson on the maiden edition of Straight Talk on Class91.3FM on Thursday, 16 May 2019.
Mr Bentil explained that the right to broadcast is a fundamental human right which is attached to the rights of free speech and the right of association, but noted that “the right to a radio frequency is not a fundamental human right”.
A radio frequency, he noted, is a resource “held by the government in trust and has to be given under certain terms and conditions”.
If the terms and conditions attached to the frequency authorisation are breached, however, “the government has a right to withdraw it. It is not the same as withdrawing your right to broadcast”.
For him, a radio station can choose to broadcast without a frequency via online channels, which, he said, is lawful.