Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says the National Media Commission (NMC) has powers to ban the airing of certain programmes on television despite the absence of a broadcasting law.
He said the Commission has powers to work in conjunction with key regulators like the National Communications Authority (NCA) to clamp down on some of the content being churned out on television.
He was speaking on The Keypoints on TV3/3FM on Saturday, April 10 during discussions regarding the killing of an 11-year-old by some teenagers in Kasoa for money rituals.
The suspects – now in police custody – had claimed that they were lured by a fetish priestess they watched on television. The priestess, who has since been rounded up, reportedly demanded GH¢5,000 and some human body parts.
This has called for the consideration of a ban on some programmes that have direct bearing on the moral fabric of Ghanaian society.
But in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM, the Chairman of the Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, said as far as regulating content is concerned, the authority of his outfit is limited.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah disagreed with this on the weekend news analysis programme.
“I do not agree with those who share the view that the NMC is totally powerless. I am one of those who have insisted, I think from 2020, that the NMC has powers if it works in conjunction with a number of other regulators to tackle these challenges.
“For example, if we look at NCA Act, Section 3(d) of Act 769, it empowers the NCA working in collaboration with the NMC to tackle some of these challenges.
“If you look at the Bank of Ghana Act, which deals with currencies and whether or not people can duplicate or create their own currencies, the Bank of Ghana has powers to deal with it. So, as far back as 2020, what we did was to draw the attention of these regulators that there is a need for them to act in accordance with Article 167(b) of the Constitution and working together as regulators to deal with the matter.”
But he admitted that there is a fine line to tread in the enforcement of the laws in order not to curtail media freedom.