Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Sulemana Braimah has lashed out at the National Communications Authority (NCA) over conditions laid down for some 133 radio stations including Radio Gold and Radio XYZ before granting authorisation to either start or resume operations.
Most of these radio stations were shut down after an audit in 2017.
On Tuesday, October 12, the Authority announced that its board had taken a decision to grant authorisation to the 133 radio stations subject to "terms and conditions" including the attending of a sensitisation workshop.
"The workshop shall clarify the legal, regulatory, and technical requirements for the establishment and operation of an FM Radio Broadcasting station," the NCA said in its statement announcing the board's decision.
"Provisional authorisations 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 Authorisation."
But speaking on News @10 on TV3 on Tuesday, October 12, Mr Braimah said it is absolutely "absurd" to make the attendance of a workshop a prerequisite for the granting of authorisation.
"There are conditions that are clearly specified within the laws of the NCA, the Electronic Communications Act and even NCA's own act clearly specifies under what condition somebody should be granted frequency authorisation.
"In fact, it also states that the NCA shall even publish the list of applications it received and those that it grants and those that it refuses. As far as I know, it doesn't comply."
He found it ironical that the NCA does not comply with its own rules but expects operators to comply with the rules.
"It is not surprising that we are saying something like a workshop for frequency and that the condition precedent is that one must attend the workshop before the frequency is granted.
"We need to find out who bears the cost of that workshop. Is it the NCA or the individual applicants for frequency and I think that if the latter is the case, it will even further make the whole thing quite absurd."
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