Former Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby has sued the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and three others over the re-introduction of the TV license fees.
His lawyers have since filed a suit at the Accra High Court challenging the intended TV license fees that the GBC hopes to collect.
There are four defendants; the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the National Media Commission, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and the Attorney General.
[contextly_sidebar id=”PllY1bZBJetHweLYRvEnfhgdkhAq9oof”]In all, Dr. Wereko-Brobby is seeking eight reliefs.
He is asking for an order of perpetual injunction which will restrain the 1st defendant which is GBC, from collecting the TV license fees from August 1, 2015.
According to him, the formula for sharing the fees which will be collected is unlawful and violates LI 226, NRCD 89 as well as NLCD 226.
He contends that per Section 10(c) of the NLCD 226, the TV license fees which will be collected by the 1st defendant belong solely to the 1st defendant, therefore, the decision to share it among the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd defendants is unlawful.
In December 2014, the Fees and Charges (Amendment) Instrument, 2014 (LI 2216) was passed which saw an increment in the TV License fees.
The plaintiff is however of the view that the passage of the LI did not appoint the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants as licensing authorities in addition to the 1st defendant as provided for by Section 13 of the NLCD 89.
He also contends that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants have not been appointed by the Minister of Finance by any Legislative Instrument to be a licensing authority as provided for by the NLCD 89; particularly when the 3rd defendant has an association and/or its individual members are not statutory corporations.
From August 1, 2015, the GBC will begin the collection of TV license fee to wean them off government subvention.
Many Ghanaians are kicking against the decision because according to them, the state broadcaster must find creative ways to fund its operations rather than relying on the public who own television sets to support them.
Domestic TV users with one set will pay GH¢36 for a licence annually, instead of the old fee of 30Gp. Those who use more than two TV sets will be required to pay GH¢60 for a licence every year.
Fees have also been reviewed upwards for commercial users such as hotels from GH¢2 to GH¢3 per month per TV set. Licensed TV dealers such as repairers would pay GH¢5 per month, while retailers and sales outlets would pay GH¢20 per month as TV licence fee.
A sharing formula has also been developed to ensure all stakeholders in the broadcasting industry benefit from the funds which will be generated.
Out of the amount, GBC will take tha largest share of 72%, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association will take 15%, the Media Development Fund will take 4%, the National Media Commission will take 4%, Film will take 2% and for managing the collection, GBC will take an extra 2% which will bring their number to 75%.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana