December 9, 2022

Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram Constituency Sam Nartey George says he is going to push for an emergency meeting of the Communications Select Committee of Parliament over the latest move by the government to yield the country’s only Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) to Chinese Pay TV StarTimes.

He said he will make sure the Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, appears before Parliament to answer questions on the deal.

He was speaking on 3FM’s News Hour on Tuesday in the wake of a rejection of the deal by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).

Though government seems bent on sealing the deal as a result of demands by the Chinese EXIM Bank, which is to finance the migration process. GIBA is kicking against it.

According to GIBA, Ghana would virtually commit its entire satellite space to the Chinese broadcast firm if the DTT is ceded to StarTimes.

“It is disturbing to have the only Free-to-Air digital broadcasting platform, which is the medium for the dissemination of information to the public and operations of mass media in the digital domain, to be controlled by an individual entity whose current business in the country is Pay TV broadcasting and is already distributing licensed controlled conditional access decoders and digital television sets across the country in aid of its commercial business,” GIBA expressed frustrations in a public announcement.

‘Full parliamentary probe’

Sam George appears to be supporting the Ghanaian broadcasters, arguing that already the digital space is too overcrowded to even allow another entity in.

For him, the number of broadcasters should be limited to Ghanaian broadcasters and for government to offer a foreign firm a deal raises suspicions.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP says, fortunately, Parliament has been recalled and he will presume on that to have the Communications Select Committee, of which he is a member, to get the plenary to summon the Minister.

“I want for an emergency meeting and I want the Minister to appear,” he said.

“I am going to push for that because we need to have a full parliamentary probe into this.”

Source: 3News

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