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TV License Blues: Business Owners Ready To Face Jail Term?

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Change, when it happens quickly and unexpectedly is usually difficult to manage.

While some may without coercion embrace it, others would unreservedly ensure the envisioned change remains in gloom and never sees the light of day.

Therefore, in a bid that the much talked about TV license goes back to the comatose it came from, some Ghanaian business owners say they are ready to face the consequence for none payment.

Speaking to the PUBLISHER, Kwasi Tsum, a barbering shop owner expressed displeasure over the compulsory payment of the TV Licensing fee.

According to him, this step is solely to rob ordinary Ghanaians of their hard-earned money.

“…I wake up in the morning and cannot feed myself and you want to me to pay TV license… I buy light GH¢20 and in three days it’s finished and you want me to buy TV license…am I going or coming…for me to pay for TV license, I would rather call the electrician to come and spoil the TV…I won’t watch the TV again…we will both lose…in fact I am ready to go to jail,” Kwasi submitted.

Soccer Bet and Video Centres To Hit a Snag

Wadding into a debate over the soundness of the modality, operators of soccer betting business are lost in the flood of conflicting theories.

Inside a soccer betting Centre
Inside a soccer betting Centre

The PUBLISHER’s visit to some operators revealed that some of them were unaware they had been mandated under the TV Licensing Act to procure a commercial license.

“I am not aware that we are part of it and I am not happy learning about this development. I think it is unfair since we are in no way connected to GBC. We do not subscribe to any of their channels…I just don’t understand,” Moses, an operator said.

Daniel is a 40-year-old video centre and cinema operator at Kaneshie and is married with five children. Even though he owns some TV sets, his video centre may not bring him enough to feed his family talk less of purchasing a license.

According to him, since the introduction of decoders, the cinema business has collapsed drastically.

“Just look at my place, there are only about 3 people in there. In a day I cannot even get GH¢10 …I will buy prepaid, I will buy film… I charge 1.50 pesewas for 5 films…this area, if you charge more than that, you wouldn’t even see a shadow in there,” Daniel noted.

Agbekor a television repairer in Mamprobi says he is not enthused about the TV license for repairers.

A TV repairer’s Shop

“How can I pay GH¢60 for my work and pay for the television at home too…it’s cheating…I agree to pay for the TV at home but for repairers, I have a problem. They should amend the Act because I cannot be paying for repairing someone’s television when that television has already been licensed,” he said.

Moses, among others have thereby advised that more education be done in order that Ghanaians know exactly what to expect from the TV Licensing Act.

But then, for Dean and Candies who are also operators of a betting centre, the call for TV licensing fee is a constitutional mandate that every Ghanaian must adhere to.

Counting about 10 or more television sets at the centre, Dean said he was ready to pay for each television set regardless the cost.

Tenets TV Licensing Act for Commercial Operators

While domestic Television users are expected to pay GH¢36 for a TV set and GH¢60 for two or more sets yearly, commercial license users would pay GH¢3 every month or GH¢36 yearly, per set.

With a dealers’ license, television repairers would pay GH¢5 monthly while retailers of television sets would pay GH¢20, monthly.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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