The National Communications Authority (NCA) has asked the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) to pay a sum of GHS2000 in order to have access to information the Foundation requested.
In a letter written back to the MFWA dated, 20 August 2020, the NCA explained that the payment satisfies a requirement per Section 82 (1) (b) of the Electronic Communication Act 2008, Act 775 to facilitate the generation of the search report.
Responding to the NCA’s letter, the Executive Director of MFWA, Mr Sulemana Braimah, took to Facebook on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 to say: “NCA paaa! You shut down radio stations. We write to ask you under RTI for the full list of the stations you shut down and you say we should pay GHS2,000 for you to do a search to get us the list? A search for what? The list? OK, we hear.”
The MFWA wrote to the NCA requesting information under Article 12 (1) (f) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and section 18 of the Right to Information Act 2019 (Act 989).
The letter, signed by Mr Braimah and dated Wednesday, 22 July 2020, requested “the full list of all authorised FM stations as of the second quarter of 2020, indicating the dates of first authorisation, dates of last authorisation renewals, locations, and operational status (on-air or off-air).”
The MFWA also requested “the full list of all authorised television stations as of the second quarter of 2020, indicating dates of first authorisation, dates of last authorisation renewals, locations and operational status.”
Additionally, the MFWA demanded “an explanation for the recent replacement of your published 2020 second-quarter report titled: “List of authorised VHF-FM Radio Stations in Ghana as at Second-Quarter 2020” which contained columns of date of first authorisation and date for last authorisation renewal, with one that excludes the dates of first authorisation and dates of first authorisation renewals.”
The letter also requested “the full list (name of the company, name of the radio station, location and frequency number) of all FM radio stations that were shut down following the 2017 FM spectrum audit and in line with the 2018 decision of the Electronic Communication Tribunal.”