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News - February 19, 2021

TV licence fee abandoned – Oppong Nkrumah

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The government has abandoned the current system of collecting TV licenses Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said.

Instead, the proposed Digital Access Fund would be used to replace the TV license fee.

Mr. Nkrumah said this when he took his turn to respond to questions from members of the vetting committee of parliament on Thursday, 18 February 2021.

The TV License Fees which was established by the Television Licensing Act – 1966 (NLCD 89) was re-introduced in 2015 to ensure TV owners pay fees.

The Akufo-Addo led government in 2018 made the payment mandatory and insisted on prosecuting offenders.

Many Ghanaians kicked against it arguing that the money will be given to the state broadcaster (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation), which provides content they see as less useful.

Answering further questions on the operations of GBC, Mr. Nkrumah said when he took office as Information Minister, GBC was owing GHS 25 million and suggested that the state should bear some of the cost of the live broadcast of state functions through the Ministry of Information.

The status of the Broadcasting Bill and recent attacks on journalists were some of the questions the Committee asked the nominee. Mr. Nkrumah assured the Committee that work is being done on the Broadcasting Bill to make it possible for media owners who want to operate websites and other social media networks to register with the National Media Commission (NMC) just like the newspapers.

On other matters, the nominee hinted that there will be an update on the COVID-19 vaccines and how they would be rolled out today while assuring the Committee that the Presidential Task Force on COVID is working to fight the pandemic.

Source: Class FM

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