The Ministry of Communications has in consultation with the National Communication Authority (NCA) reviewed the sanctions imposed on some 131 radio stations who breached the Electronic and Communications Act.
The NCA, in September, announced that it had revoked the licenses of 34 of the defaulting stations while the remainder had been handed hefty fines with pro-NDC Radio Gold's own of ¢61m being the highest.
The decision stirred a public debate in which many called on the NCA to mitigate the sanctions.
In a statement released on Friday, the Ministry has ordered the stations whse licenses have been revoked to apply for review within the next 10 days for their issues to be addressed individually.
Also commercial radio stations who have been fined have been given a 50% discount on the penalties while community radio stations have had the penalties waived and been given 30 days to regularise their operations.
Below is the statement:
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS OFFERS REPRIEVE TO SANCTIONED FM STATIONS
Following the presentation of the Honourable Minister for Communications on the floor of Parliament on, October 19, 2017, the Ministry of Communications (MOC) in consultation with the National Communications Authority (NCA), has offered the following reprieve for FM Broadcasting Stations which were sanctioned for committing various infractions.
Community and Institutional FM Broadcasting Stations
The pecuniary penalties which were imposed on the FM Broadcasting Stations in this category have been waived.
In addition to this, these stations are to regularise their operations; pay their outstanding indebtedness (Annual Regulatory and Spectrum fees) and submit renewal applications and all outstanding documentation as applicable within thirty (30) days from the date of this release, Friday, 20th October 2017. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of their authorisations.
FM Broadcasting Stations which had their Authorisations Revoked
The stations in this category have the option to petition the Honourable Minister for Communications for a review of the revocation of their Authorisation within 10 days from Friday, 20th October 2017. After receipt of their petitions, they will be reviewed on a case by case basis, following which the Minister will determine the applicable sanctions.
Commercial FM Broadcasting Stations
Defaulting Commercial FM Broadcasting Stations that were fined by the NCA have also had their fines reduced by 50%. They have 30 days from October 20, 2017, to pay the 50% reduced penalties or have their authorisations revoked.
It is the expectation of the Ministry and the Authority that all defaulting FM stations will take advantage of this opportunity and ensure compliance within the shortest possible time.
Issued by the Ministry of Communications
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