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N/R Radio station managers kick against NCA’s reclassification policy


Members of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), in the Northern Region on Wednesday unanimously urged the regulatory body, National Communication Authority (NCA) to have a second look at its reclassification of Radio stations policy in the region.

GIBA members say the NCA’s decision to reduce the coverage from 100 to 45 kilometers for commercial stations located in urban areas will negatively affect their revenue and have the tendency of crippling some radio stations.

Under the NCA’s reclassification policy, only state-owned radio stations located in sub-urban areas can transmit 65 kilometers radius, community and campus radio stations can only transmit 25 kilometers and 5 kilometers respectively. 

The technical regulatory body imposed the policy on 39 radio stations in 2012 from all categories operating in Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions in order that it can allocate frequencies to a lot of people applying for them.

But GIBA members at a day’s Broadcasting Industry Dialogue meeting with managers of radio stations from the three regions of the North in Tamale kicked against the policy saying it does not make business sense. According to them, NCA needed to look at the policy again because it could not compare radio stations in Accra to that of Northern Region without recourse to populations of the two geographical areas.

 GIBA members are also urging NCA to come out with clear guidelines regarding community radio stations’ operations.

Operators in commercial radio stations say some community radio stations have deviated completely from their core mandate and purpose in which they were established and are now competing with commercial stations in business.  

Senior Principal Manager of NCA in charge of northern zone, Seth Terkper said the regulator has taken note of all concerns and will sit with GIBA executives to find solutions to them.

He entreated GIBA members to also report problems and challenges confronting them to their executives for the regulatory body to address it.  Mr Terkper said NCA is aware of technical problems facing some radio stations and urged managers to liaise with NCA so that they can provide training to their technicians. 

The Senior Principal Manage was not happy that after several letters warning some stations about signal interference in radio and even sometimes aviation bar, the problem still persist and hinted that the NCA will soon crack the whip. He also appealed to radio stations to ensure adequate security by using secured doors and adhere to standards. GIBA President Akwasi Agyemang made passionate appeal to members to be extra careful of people who they invite or call to their stations for talk-show programs as the country heads towards 2016 general elections.

He cautioned managers to beware of people who are bent of using their medium to foment trouble. Mr Agyemang explained what the association is up to in addressing members’ concerns. The dialogue meeting, Mr Agyemang said, was to enable GIBA have enough information from all the ten regions for the betterment of the industry.

On the concerns of unfairness in sharing advertisement to members, Mr Agyemang promised that there would be fairness in sharing business among members. GIBA, Mr Agyemang said, will hold a meeting with NCA top officials over all the concerns members raised to find appropriate solutions to them.

Meanwhile, GIBA members at the end of the broadcasting industry dialogue meeting elected a veteran broadcaster and General Manager of private radio station, North Star Radio, Mr Adam Kokra as northern zonal coordinator for the association.

He polled 8 votes out of a total of 15 to beat Mr Ibrahim Kessi who had 3 votes and Francis Owusu Ansah who managed to secure 2 votes. The election was supervised by the Northern Regional directorate of electoral commission.




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