The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) says it will intensify public education on the need for voluntary payment of TV Licence fees and ensure easy access to pay points.
A statement issued by GBC and signed by its Director General, Dr. Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow says the corporation “has noted with concern, the public apprehension which has been precipitated by Television Licence fee, its collection and the possibility of prosecution.”
It assured the general public that its primary concern is to encourage all and sundry to voluntarily pay the TV Licence fee and not to necessarily haul persons before the law courts for prosecution.
The statement however stressed the corporation’s mandate and resolve to collect the fee, saying it is “a responsibility that would not be reneged on.”
The issue of TV licence fees has become controversial in recent days following the designation of special courts across the country to prosecute defaulters.
The courts were approved by the Chief Justice following an application by GBC.
Emerging concerns have bordered on the objective of the revenue to be collected, the propriety of tasking the public to fund a near-commercial enterprise, and the relevance of enforcing an essentially obsolete law.
Below is the full statement issued by GBC
The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation has noted with concern, the public apprehension which has been precipitated by Television Licence fee, its collection and the possibility of prosecution.
The Television Licence fee promulgated under NLCD 89 as amended, requires all owners of Television sets to pay a Licence fee of GHC36.00 per a set and GHC60.00 for two or more for a year. This is regulated under L.I 2216.
• But of critical importance to the Board of GBC is the feedback from the public which it considers rich and informative, to the extent that GBC wants to assure the general public that its primary concern is to encourage all and sundry to voluntarily pay the TV Licence fee; and not to necessarily haul persons before the law courts for prosecution.
• The Board and Management further states that although GBC is mandated to collect the fee by law, a responsibility that would not be reneged on, the Corporation in order to realize that objective would intensify its education and ensure easy access to pay points of the Licence fee.
• Whilst encouraging all to pay the TV Licence fee, it is important to state that GBC as Public Broadcaster, when adequately funded by the public, could be weaned-off commercial advertising, since program diversity and quality should not be driven on the wheels of Commercial concerns.
• The Board and Management wishes to state that like older Public Service Broadcasters such BBC (UK), NHK (JAPAN) and ABC (AUSTRALIA); GBC also carries a constitutional mandate that must reflect the economic, cultural and political aspirations of all Ghanaians. This mandate is reflected in our obligation to cover national events, promote inclusion and drive the nation’s developmental effort.
• GBC is, therefore, assuring the public that as critical partners for its success and sustenance, the public is urged to engage the Corporation to ensure that their concerns with respect to GBC’s operations are seriously addressed.
The Board and Management of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) take this opportunity to wish its cherished viewers and listeners a Happy New Year.
DR. KWAME AKUFFO ANOFF-NTOW