A former Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation William Ampem-Darko has expressed concerns over plans to jail Ghanaians who default in the payment of their TV license fee.
The Chief Justice upon request by the GBC has set up a special court to hear cases regarding the payment of TV license. The court begins operations from Tomorrow Thursday, January 4.
The issue has sparked outrage among a section of Ghanaians who argue the GBC does not live up to expectation.
Commenting on the development, Mr. Ampem-Darko told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Wednesday that there is a lack of education on the exact roles of a public broadcaster.
“That’s rather extreme. But if the education had been done well, we wouldn’t have reached this stage.
“I am surprised that people who are well educated and can appreciate the importance of public service broadcasting are making noise over this payments,” he said.
He however noted that private broadcasters appear to be doing better with public service than GBC.
“I watch my public service broadcast activities mostly on the commercial stations and listen to the commercial stations for what the public service broadcaster should be doing because right now, you [private media] are doing the public service broadcasting and you do it better, just for content sake, and you need content, so, you are drifting seriously into public service which is good for the development of the country.
“I don’t know if you charge or you don’t charge but you must know that as a commercial broadcaster, you are under no mandate to carry public service; you do it as you wish and sometimes you do it based upon the inclination of your media house. I should congratulate the commercial broadcasters, you are doing very well because there are so many activities which GBC may not cover or cover but may not transmit after so many hours.
Meanwhile, MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George has urged Ghanaians not pay the license.
“I don’t think anybody should take the license thing seriously. Today, nobody in this country who understands the industry can call GBC a public broadcaster, they are a commercial broadcaster like every other radio and TV station.”