We won't shut down Joy FM, Asempa FM — NCA
The National Communications Authority (NCA) is entreating the general public to disregard false news reports about plans to shut down two radio stations, Joy FM and Asempa FM.
In a Press Release, it said Management of the two stations belonging to the Multimedia Group have sued the NCA over its reclassification of FM coverage.
In 2011, the NCA, after extensive stakeholder consultations, concluded and published a reclassification policy document of FM coverage in Ghana.
The document directed commercial FM operators, among others, to reduce their frequency coverage radii from 100 km to 45 km.
Thus far, the Authority said it has “ensured compliance with this policy throughout the country and across the board by the operators”.
It noted, however, that “it is important to state that Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM have failed to comply with the said reclassification of FM coverage policy; the two stations consequently filed an action for judicial review against the NCA at the High Court in Accra”.
On 13th June 2019, the High Court dismissed the said application for judicial review, and, thus, upheld the Authority’s regulatory mandate to limit commercial radio stations’ coverage to 45 km.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court, Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM filed an appeal against the decision of the High Court at the Court of Appeal.
Additionally, Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM filed an application for an interim injunction pending appeal in the High Court and at the Court of Appeal.
Both applications for interim injunction were struck out as withdrawn by the High Court and the Court of Appeal on 22 July 2019 and 9 October 2019, respectively.
To further vindicate their rights, Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM have repeated the injunction application at the Court of Appeal, and same is pending for hearing.
“As of now, and owing to this pending matter at the Court of Appeal, Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM do not have final valid authorisations to operate radio stations in Ghana”, the NCA said.
Claims of Shut Down False
“From the above sequel of facts, it is, therefore, utterly false for Multimedia and its media practitioners to claim that NCA intends to shut down Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM”, the NCA said.
It clarified that it is only seeking to ensure compliance with the 2011 National Coverage Reclassification Policy, which all other FM stations, except Joy 99.7FM and Asempa 94.7FM, are complying with.
“Obviously, ensuring compliance with the national coverage requirement in line with the law and policy has nothing to do with a shutdown of a station”, the NCA, and, therefore, entreated “the general public to disregard the falsehoods being circulated in the media”.