Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

President Akufo-Addo has directed the Communications Minister to suspend the DTT directive given to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

In a press release Thursday, the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin said the directive is “in connection with the reduction of GBC’s channels on the DTT platform, pending further consultations with stakeholders.

In a letter Wednesday, the National Media Commission (NMC) said moves by the Communications Ministry to reduce three of the six channels of the state broadcaster and Crystal TV on the platform is outside the Ministry’s remits.

Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Chairman of the NMC, said the Ministry is usurping its powers.

According to the Commission, the constitution mandates it “to promote and ensure the freedom and independence of the media for mass communication or information” and also “insulate the state-owned media from governmental control.”

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo said any development that seeks to deprive the media of its use of resources legally allocated to them compromises their capacity to serve the country.

His comment comes after Prof. Amin Alhassan, the Director-General of the state broadcaster wrote to the NMC explaining that all six channels serve specific purposes, therefore, none can be taken off.

Giving a breakdown of their uses, he said all six channels are dedicated 24-hours channels with “specified focus reflecting the mandate of GBC as a State Broadcaster, a Public Service Broadcaster and a Commercial Broadcaster.”

The Minority in Parliament is up in arms against the Communications Ministry over its intention to close the channels.

The NDC legislators argue the notice to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation is wrong on many levels, one of them being the source of the notice.