Controversial Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, has chastised the National Communications Authority (NCA) branding it as “very corrupt”.
Rev. Martey, is at a lost as to how the NCA, whose job it is to allocate frequencies to individuals and organizations, will grant a such privilege to people who do not meet the basic requirement but will deny those with adequate information and knowledge.
“Corruption is deeply rooted in the allocation of frequencies in Ghana, I mean deeply rooted. For how on earth will frequency allocation be given to people who do not meet the basic criteria and those who have all the requisite qualifications are denied, anatomy of corruption in Ghana?
There are broadcasting stations whose owners are not known to the public, how can this be? Will it therefore not be possible for one person or one group to have more than one frequency when others do not have even half?
He questioned why the NCA after given those dubious allocations to radio station owners will allow their stations which are supposed to operate at a specified area will transcend as far as Togo and Burkina Faso.
“And we know that given frequencies, your area of coverage is very scientific, you are given the radius but listen, there are some FM stations when you are in Togo, you can hear them, if you are in Ouagadougou, you can hear them, how come, how come”, he questioned?
The man of God who was marveled at the level of corruption in Ghana now said “There are certain things I don’t understand, why some people are so corrupt” he said.
He said this when he delivered a keynote address at the final stakeholders meeting on National Governance Dialogue on Media Ethics and Transparency in Frequency Allocation, organized by the Graphic Communications Group Limited and Star-Ghana, last Friday in Accra.
Giving example of what he personally experienced in the hands of the NCA, Rev. Martey said some time ago, he sent someone to inquire about the procedure to apply for a frequency. To his surprise, the Moderator said the person returned telling him that he needed to apply before he could be helped. The eloquent Moderator said he asked himself, why he should apply when he has no knowledge or information about that procedure.
“For instance, I sent my people go and then inquire information about frequency allocation, they came and they said we should bring application first, how can I apply if I don’t know, I don’t have adequate information of what you do? I sent them again go and they came and said the same thing and I know it is one unethical person who is doing that”, he said.
He proposed some recommendations saying, there must be public hearing on the allocation of frequencies and also a broadcasting law be passed to curb certain ill in media practice.
Rev. Martey tasked the media not to only inform, educate and entertain but to instill a sense of right and wrong in the public on their present state and where they ought to have been.
He also condemned some unethical behaviours of some journalists alleging there are some journalists who are on the payroll of the National Security who are paid to spy on colleagues who are said to be doing the bidding of the opposition.
“I heard that some journalists of the state-media are on the payroll of the National Security spying on colleague journalists perceived as political opponents to the ruling government. This is totally immoral and unacceptable you are destroying your own profession”, he said.
The NCA was absent in the deliberation even though according to organizers they were invited. The Authority which is a major stakeholder in the topic under review, The Herald learnt failed to attend the two programmes that were held in Kumasi and Alisa Hotel in Accra on November 11th and 13 , respectively.
At the end of the two programmes a communiqué which was issued said among others that “there must be closer collaboration between the NCA and the National Media Commission (NMC), or the NMC must be in charge of frequency allocation and NCA must provide technical support.
There must be transparency and equity in the allocation of frequencies. It also urged Parliament to ensure the speedy passage of the Broadcasting Bill into law with transparent rules on frequency allocation and clear guidelines.
It also recommended that media houses should institute proper organization structures attract qualify journalists who tend to have a better sense of ethics; as the present state of non-existent structures only breeds the culture of “soli”.
Board chair of GCGL, Dr. Doris Dartey told participates that their meeting will not be just a “talk shop” but will ensure that the outcome of the last deliberation will be followed through to ensure that everyone benefits from the three meetings.
The Project Manager of Star-Ghana, Ibrahim Tank Amadu, regretted that gradually the media is becoming “a threat to democracy” when it’s supposed to consolidate it.
Present at the meeting were past and present and broadcasters, media owners and writers, defunct Radio Eye boss Dr. Charles Yves Wereko Brobbey and Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) President Rowland Affairl Monney were present.
Also present, was former MD of GCGL and ex-Director General of GBC, Berfi Apenteng, Director of Newspaper GCGL, Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, Prof. Kwame Karikari of the Media Foundation for West Africa and MD for GCGL, Ken Ashigbey.