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TV users to start paying licence fees from August

The collection of television (TV) licence fees is to resume in August this year, the National Media Commission (NMC) has announced.

Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere, the Chairman of the NMC, who announced this at a news conference in Accra yesterday, said the resumption of the collection of the fees was expected to place the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) on a better financial footing to fulfil its public broadcasting mandate under the 1992 Constitution.

“The collection of realistic TV licences will in time enable GBC to be weaned off government subvention,” he added.

He said other private broadcasting stations and stakeholders would equally benefit from the money to be collected.

New TV licence fees

Following the submission of a proposal for the review of the TV licence fees to Parliament, the fees were reviewed upwards.

From August, 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.

Comparing the licence fees in Ghana to other countries, Mr Blay-Amihere said the fee of GH¢36, equivalent to €6, was rather low, compared to €31 in South Africa, €23 in Namibia and €29 in Mauritius.

Sharing formula

On how the licence fees collected were going to be shared among the key stakeholders, comprising the Ministry of Communications and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the NMC Chairman said there was an agreed sharing formula to ensure that all stakeholders in the broadcasting industry benefited from the funds generated.

He said of the total funds to be generated, the GBC would have a share of 72 per cent; GIBA, 15 per cent; the NMC and the Media Development Fund would take four per cent each, the Film Fund would have two per cent and the management of the fees, GBC, would take three per cent.

Sensitisation programme

Mr Blay-Amihere said a comprehensive sensitisation and publicity campaign had been drawn up by GBC and GIBA to sensitise the public to the new fees.

He urged the board of the NMC to put in place a transparent, accountable and effective mechanism for the collection of the adjusted fees.

He promised that the NMC would, in collaboration with the other stakeholders, ensure proper accountability, fair and judicious distribution and use of revenue from the fees.

On payment methods, the Director General of GBC, Major Albert Don-Chebe (retd), named the banks, post offices and commissioned agents as those to be used for the collection.

About the TV licence

The TV Licence Law was passed some 23 years ago to regulate the installation and use of television receiving sets in order to generate revenue to support public service broadcasting.

The fees ranged from 3GP per annum for domestic users of one TV set to GH¢20 for dealers in TV sets.

However, in spite of the constant devaluation and depreciation of the national currency, the fees had remained unchanged since 1991.

Eventually, the cost of collecting the fee became uneconomic and irrelevant and it was, therefore, suspended in 2010.

Source: Graphic Online


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