The governing board of the National Communications Authority (NCA), chaired by Isaac Emmil Osei-Bonsu, has been sworn into office today, Monday 4 October 2021.
The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, performed the swearing-in ceremony in the conference room of the NCA headquarters.
Other members of the governing board are Joe Anokye, the director general of the NCA, Kwabena Adu Boahene, Alexander Nii Katey, Honourable Ama Pomaa Boateng, Patrick Boateng, Dr Eugene Owusu and Ama Daaku. The ninth member of the board is yet to be named.
FM station shutdowns
The most pressing issue requiring the immediate attention of the board members is the 57 (out of a total 144) frequency modulation (FM) stations that were cited for various infractions and shut down in an audit exercise by the NCA in 2019.
The 57 radio stations were found to be operating without valid authorisation. Others were found to be in default and were fined by the Authority.
The board will give consideration to new applications that have been filed by many of the stations that were shut down by the NCA.
Core NCA mandate
The governing board is expected, among other things, to assist the management and staff of the NCA to execute their core mandate of granting licences and authorisation for operating communication systems and services.
It allocates, assigns and regulates the use of frequencies in conformity with development strategies for the communications industry in Ghana.
The Osei-Bonsu-led board will also provide direction on how the NCA goes about monitoring frequencies to identify cases of interference, and take action against illegal broadcasters and users of unauthorised wireless devices.
The NCA also exists to promote and ensure fair competition in the telecommunications industry. This includes implementing policy on competition within the remit of the Authority.
The board will be required to support the NCA’s efforts to promote fair competition and protect communications service providers from misuse of market power, or anti-competitive and unfair practices by other service providers.
Establishing and monitoring quality of service indicators for service providers, educating and protecting consumers, authorising type approval, enforcement of equipment standards and co-ordinating frequency use among neighbouring countries are some of the other areas where the board will be expected to give direction to the NCA.