The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has promised to grant amnesty to the radio stations that were closed down for allegedly breaching the National Communications Authority's (NCA) regulations.
Flagbearer of the party, John Dramani Mahama made the promise on September 7, during the party’s manifesto launch in Accra.
The promise, which was also captured in the NDC’s 2020 manifesto, stated: “We’ll grant amnesty to all radio stations closed down by the Akufo-Addo Government and permit them to resume operations to ensure media freedom”.
The NDC also promised to establish a Media Development Fund to support journalists and media organisations as a post-COVID-19 relief package.
The party further promised to “make the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation economically viable and politically independent.”
Why were these radio stations closed?
Two pro-opposition radio stations, Radio XYZ and Radio Gold were closed down by the NCA in May 2019.
Other stations were subsequently closed down in other parts of the country.
In a press statement after the action, the NCA said the affected radio stations were “operating without valid authorisations as determined by the 2017 FM Broadcasting Audit”.
The NCA's 2017 audit named Radio XYZ and Radio Gold among the many FM stations that were operating against its regulations.
It fined Radio XYZ GHS4,090,000 in September 2017 for operating with a license that expired on 8th May 2016.
In the report, Radio Gold was fined GHS61,330,000 for operating with a license that expired on 6th September 2000.
Although some of the affected stations were subsequently given back their licenses, Radio Gold and Radio XYZ were not part hence have been off-air over a year on.