By Dennis Peprah, GNA
ACCRA, Jan 8, GNA – Television users in the Brong-Ahafo Regional capital at the weekend, urged the Ghana Television (GTV) of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to use digital approach in the collection of the TV license fees.
Most of them were however, unhappy with the payment of the fees, insisting that the manual process of collection was outmoded and inconvenient.
At a New Year Business Conference in Sunyani, the users said payment of the fees was « irrational » and required that the GTV would come out with vivid explanation for them to understand the idea of the fees.
The conference was organised by the College for Community and Organisational Development (CCOD), a Sunyani-based technical university and attended by businessmen and women, petty traders, entrepreneurs, as well as public and private profit making institutions.
It was aimed at helping the participants to identify new business ideas, facilitate networking, as well as to introduce them to various online trade opportunities and national policies and programmes.
Some of the users suggested collaboration between the GTV and the Volta River Authority in the payment process so that the fee could be automatically deducted immediately TV users procure prepaid power units.
« In Cote D’Ivoire for instance, every TV user pays license fees and because of the digitized approach in the collection users are always paying », Bernard Oppong, a businessman indicated.
« GTV could also partner some of the leading telecommunication operators in the country to easily collect the fees », Mr Thomas Benarkuu, another businessman stated.
But, Mr Tony Good, a presenter at the Radio BAR, an affiliate of the GBC in Sunyani, quickly intervened, explaining that users were paying the fees not because of the television content or channel but because they owned TV sets.
Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the President of CCOD, indicated that the payment of the fees was supported by a Legislative Instrument (LI) and it was an offence to default.
He said the only way to scrap the TV license fees was through the amendment of the TV License Act and asked citizens to lobby through their Members of Parliament (MPs).
Dr Benarkuu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of MIHOSO International, a health-centered NGO said until the amendment was done, any TV user in the country who failed to pay the fees could be prosecuted.