17.07.2006 Social News

Government To Tighten Laws On FM Stations

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The government would not hesitate to tighten the laws regulating the operations of Frequency Modulation (FM) stations to curb the abuse of phone-in programmes to tarnish the image of the Presidency and other people holding high positions in the country.

"Ghanaians should not abuse the liberalistion of the air waves granted by the government under the leadership of President J A Kufuor to insult and ridicule people in the name of freedom of speech," he said.

Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, said this in answer to a question about the persistent insults on the President by some serial callers on FM stations.

He was speaking at a durbar of the Chiefs and people of the Breman Asikuma Traditional Area in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District as part of his familiarization tour of the Central Region.

Mr. Asamoah Boateng said it was unfortunate that some Ghanaians had taken undue advantage of the freedom the government had granted to the people, because about two decades ago, people could not even express their minds on national issues.

The Minister stated the commitment of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to democracy and the rule of law but warned that it would hesitate to review the laws regulating the operation of FM stations to ensure sanity on the airwaves.

He noted that the government had kept faith with the people by pursuing policies and programmes to improve the living conditions of the people, adding that, the introduction of the Capitation Grant and School Feeding Programme and others initiatives were an ample proof of its ability to deliver.

Mr. Asamoah Boateng assured the chiefs and the people in the District especially Breman Asikuma, that all development projects being undertaken would be completed.

He stated that more schools structures would be constructed in the district to make room for increased enrolment in basic schools as a result of the capitation grant and called for the cooperation of Chiefs, Assembly Members and District Chief Executive to promote the development of the area.

Mr. Asamoah Boateng said the Ministry of Local Government would review the formula for the allocation of the District Assemblies Common Fund to ensure that districts, which could not generate enough revenue internally also receive substantial amount to undertake projects.

The Minister gave the assurance that he would contact the Ministry of Transportation to ensure the completion of a roads rehabilitation project at Breman Asikuma, which had come to a standstill.

He promised that the Ministry of Local Government would donate 100 bags of cement for the start of the construction of a new secondary school at Breman Brakwa, which was promised by the President when he visited Brakwa last year.

Earlier, the Minister inspected a number of projects including the chili pepper farm, schools buildings and the 4.5-billion-cedi Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre at Breman Asikuma and addressed Assembly Members, heads of departments and staff of the District Assembly.

Nana Okoh Yaw Aboni, Adontenhene of the Traditional Area, said the District was lagging behind other areas in terms of development and appealed to the Minister for assistance to alleviate poverty in the area.

He noted that there was cordial relations between the Chiefs, District Assembly and the District Chief Executive, Mr. Emmanuel Adjei Doomson and stated that since the District was one of the leading producer of cocoa in the region it should get its fair share of the national cake.
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