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Minority questions Ursula over shutdown of 3 GBC channels

Minority members on the Communications Committee of Parliament have questioned the authority of the Minister of Communications pursuant to a letter written to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to reduce the number of its channels on the National Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network from six(6) to three (3).

The MP for Ningo-Prampram Hon Sam Nartey George, who is a member of the Committee, in an interview on Wednesday 15th July,2020, stated, that it is not within the jurisdiction of the said Minister to order the shutdown of the channels.

The letter which was dated 26th  June, 2020, came with a directive to the Director-General of the state broadcaster to within 60 days reduce its channels from six to three.

“This is to ensure that there is redundancy on the National DTT platform which is currently at full capacity,” it states.

“You will, therefore, be required to consolidate your programming in line with this directive” it added.

However, Mr. Nartey during the interview, argued that GBC is not an agency under the Ministry of Communications to take instructions from the sector minister.
“We would have loved to see a directive from the sector minister which is the Minister for information”

He noted that this move is akin to the Minister of Interior writing to the Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), instructing him to release military officers, when they are under the Minister of Defence.

“If the Minister of Communications did have any need for channels, the right procedure would have been to request from her colleague minister, the Minister for Information, to respond or do what she wanted to do.”

In view of this, the MP laid some questions which he indicated requires answers;
“First and foremost, does the minister for communication has the legal authority to instruct GBC”?

“what is the reason for government’s need “?

“Is this not another example of state capture”? And this he alleged could be for Asaase Media Empire get Television station hence, the move.

By Mary Quartey

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