The newly Governing Board of the National Communications Authority (NCA) has granted the approval of about 133 radio broadcasting stations to operate in the country.
These include new applications from entities whose FM radio stations were closed down after the 2017 FM Audit as well as existing stations which applied for renewal of their expired FM Radio broadcasting authorizations.
The inclusion has therefore permitted Radio Gold, Radio XYZ , among others which were closed down to start operating.
“The Governing Board of the National Communications Authority (NCA), at a Board meeting held on 11th October 2021, approved the grant of a total of One Hundred and Thirty-Three (133) FM radio broadcasting authorizations which include new applications from entities whose FM radio stations were closed down after the 2017 FM Audit as well as existing stations which applied for renewal of their expired FM Radio broadcasting authorizations,” a statement from the NCA said.
The approval, according to the statement, is “subject to the applicants attending a sensitisation workshop on the terms and conditions of FM radio broadcasting authorisations.”
According to the NCA press release, the governing board approved the applications at its meeting held on the 11th October, 2021.
“This approval from the Board is subject to the applicants attending a sensitization workshop on the terms and conditions of FM radio broadcasting authorizations. The workshop shall clarify the legal, regulatory, and technical requirements for the establishment and operation of an FM Radio Broadcasting station” the press release stated.
“Provisional authorizations shall be issued to the successful applicants at the end of the workshop and frequencies shall be assigned to the applicants only upon the fulfillment of the conditions of the Provisional Authorization,” the release further noted.
Fifty-seven out of the 144 Frequency Modulation (FM) stations that were cited for various infractions in an audit exercise by the NCA were shut down in 2019.
In accordance with the decisions of the Electronic Communication Tribunal (ECT), 30 out of the 57 stations submitted fresh applications for FM authorisations.
For Radio Gold for example, the licence was revoked over a refusal to pay operating licence fees over a long period.
The Electronic Communication Tribunal therefore ruled that by that act, the license had expired.
It is however as to whether they will be getting their old frequencies after the granting of the new authorisation.
This is because, the NCA allocates frequencies based on availability.
The governing board of the National Communications Authority, chaired by Isaac Emmil Osei-Bonsu, the senior partner of the legal firm Minkah-Premo & Co, assumed office on 4 October 2021.
The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, swore the new NCA board into office at the Authority’s headquarters in Accra.
The members of the governing board are Isaac Emmil Osei-Bonsu (chairman), Joe Anokye (director general of the NCA), Kwabena Adu Boahene, Alexander Nii Katey, Ama Pomaa Boateng (MP for Juaben), Patrick Boateng, Dr Eugene Owusu and Ama Daaku. The ninth member of the board is yet to be named.