Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday January 17 , 2018
The Director General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Dr Akuffo Annoff-Ntow, has been asked to proceed on leave with immediate effect.
Various media sources quoted the GBC Board Chairman, Rev Prof. Emmanuel Addo-Obeng, as saying Dr. Anoff-Ntow is being asked to proceed on leave because of his poor handling of the television licence fee issue.
Prof. Addo-Obeng said the decision was taken on Monday and said the regulator - National Media Commission (NMC) - had been officially notified about the decision.
He said “the duration for the leave will depend on consultation with the NMC.”
The Board Chairman said on Radio Ghana operated by GBC, “We are going to immediately engage NMC to discuss a whole lot of issues affecting GBC and the future of the state broadcaster,”
Rev Prof. Addo-Obeng further explained that one board member and two directors of GBC are supposed to steer the affairs of the corporation until the issues are ironed out.
“We have put an interim management committee in place with a board member and two directors of GBC to hold the fort while this consultation goes on,” he disclosed.
The divisional union chairman of GBC, Michael Allotey, called for calm among the GBC staff, saying, “As a union, we need to engage our people, urging them to remain calm because it is a board decision but we will meet properly to tell the world our position. I also take this opportunity to urge workers to remain calm.”
He added, “Except that sometimes it is challenging because the question is after DG, what next? GBC has a problem and it has to be solved. I think it is time the nation decides what to do with the national broadcaster. It is either they keep it as a private entity or we continue to keep on the focus as a national broadcaster.”
The request by Dr. Anoff-Ntow to the office of the Chief Justice to set up courts that will prosecute defaulters of TV licence, which was eventually approved, sparked outrage in the country.
In the ensuing heat, the GBC director general kept shifting his position over what TV users were supposed to do.
Per Section 1(a) of the TV licensing Act 1966 (NLCD 89), defaulters were expected to be prosecuted and when found guilty, were supposed to pay a fine or an imprisonment term not exceeding one year; but the GBC board moved swiftly to stop the prosecution aspect under the Act.
The board urged the National Media Commission to explore a more sustainable funding module for state broadcaster.