‘TV licence fees’ money will be judiciously used’

1f5fc236c74450716814f956aea56745_LThe National Media Commission (NMC) has assured Ghanaians that, it would ensure judicious use of monies that would be collected from the revised TV licence fees to be rolled out next month.

It, therefore, urged the public to pay the fees as funds that would be generated would benefit both the state and private owned media, training institutions and professional associations.

Mr. Kabral Blay-Amihere, Chairman of NMC, gave the assurance when he was delivering the last in the series of lectures on the theme: “Broadcasting-A Vital Tool for National Harmony and Cohesion”, to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), in Accra on Thursday.

Mr. Blay-Amihere said the payment of the fees would help guarantee the independence of the media, and promote professional standards.

He said: “It is true that GBC will remain the highest beneficiary but there are many good reasons that GBC should be funded by the state to serve its mandate of serving as a true public service broadcaster”.

Mr.Blay-Amihere commended Parliament for passing the legislative instrument to revise the long-standing TV licence fee, adding “I believe Parliament had a bigger picture of how the payment of TV licence fee can guarantee the financial independence of GBC and thus wean it from government subvention and deeply insulate it from governmental control because he who pays the piper can call the tune”,

He noted that GBC was not as powerful as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), “but it is not as useless and irrelevant as some would make us believe.”

 

Mr. Blay-Amihere, said “In fact, the BBC we all like to praise as a model in broadcasting, has achieved its reputation because of the TV licence fee the British have paid over the years irrespective of whether they watch BBC or not”,

Major. Albert Don-Chebe (Rtd), Director-General of GBC, said two methods would be adopted for the collection of the license fee.

He mentioned that a manual payment system would be rolled out, using the Ghana Post Service to reach out to the majority of Ghanaians, especially those in the rural areas.

Additionally, in the long term, an electronic payment system would also be introduced so that people could pay online.

The Board Chairman of GBC, Mr. Richard Kwame Asante, said the government subvention to GBC only covered the payment of salaries of staff, and capital investment and other expenses were borne by GBC.

He disclosed that aside Obonu TV, which served residents of the Ga-Adangme communities in the Greater Accra region; GBC was planning to establish nine regional TV stations, to serve people in the rural areas in other regions.

He, therefore, urged Ghanaians to support GBC financially so that it could serve the public better for national development.

By Joseph Edu Archison and Selorm Helen

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