The Minority in Parliament is up in arms against the Communications Ministry over its intention to close three channels of state broadcaster GBC.
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.
Minority spokesperson on Communications, Sam George, speaking to the media in Parliament, argued the GBC is under the purview of the Ministry of Information and not the Ministry of Communication.
The notice coming from Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to him, is therefore unacceptable.
More so, there is no need to reduce the number of channels being operated by the state broadcaster by half, the Ningo-Prampram MP argues.
Citing the letter from the Communications Minister to GBC, Sam George says there are better ways of solving the issue raised.
The reduction, according to the letter, “is to ensure that there is redundancy on the national DTT platform which is currently operating at full capacity.”
But Mr. George disputes the efficiency of this move.
According to him, the Ministry should have completed the migration from analogue to digital in 2017 which would have given enough space to the government as one of the reasons given for the want of space is a means for national security and other government communication.
“When they complete the digital switch over, we are going to have a lot of white spaces which is additional spectrum for government to use,” he said, adding moving to close three channels of GBC is “a lazy approach” of getting spectrum.
But Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful has dismissed the concerns of the firebrand lawmaker, arguing his comments are a distortion of the facts.
According to her, the number of channels on the country’s DTT platform – 40 – is not the same available spectrum when the DTT migration is complete.
She said the state hosts the channels on the DTT platform for free which it does not intend to do once the migration is compete.
GBC is therefore being given a more efficient and cost effective way to operate while space is created on the DTT platform for government use, the Minister said.