Press Union of Liberia Cautions LTA over Declaration of All FM Radio Licences Expired
Monrovia – The Press Union of Liberia has expressed shock over the hasty decision of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) to announce the expiration of all FM radio licenses across the country despite ongoing consultation on the approval of the draft FM regulatory policy by stakeholders.
In a press release issued in Monrovia in response to the LTA pronouncement, the PUL said the LTA statement is intentionally toned against Liberian broadcasters presenting them as irresponsible when the sectorial regulator (LTA) created a messy airwave in Montserrado by uncontrollably issuing licenses.
The problem created by the Liberia Telecommunications Authority in the sector prompted the commencement of discussions on the introduction of a new FM Regulation Policy being facilitated by USAID through Internews. Stakeholders in broadcast like the Association of Liberian Community Radios (ALICOR), Nimba Community Radio Association (NICORA), LTA, Press Union of Liberia and Internews herself led discussions on the draft FM Regulations.
Inputs from all the forums have been collated by the Internews- Liberia but unfortunately have been disregarded by the LTA.
The Union believes that the action of the LTA, undercuts every spirit of the government and civil society collaboration for an impactful public administration decision on the FM Regulation.
The Union further maintains that threats by the LTA to annul FM frequencies already in use without first validating the draft FM regulatory policy along with stakeholders in the sector is counterproductive and undermines efforts to ensure regulatory governance.
The announcement of FM License expiration “pending the review of individual frequency assignments”, sound more of politics then technical assessment.
Press Union of Liberia President, Charles B. Coffey, Jr.: “This show is not good for the profile of our country. The LTA is aware that what it is presenting on behave of our country is not the intent of the work we have done with the help of USAID- Internews. License fees, for instance, must align financial soundless of media entities, particularly radio stations. Please… we have not validated the draft FM Regulation.”
Moreover, the Press Union of Liberia is advising the LTA to hold a national validation event for the draft FM Regulation where stakeholders’ inputs will make its way into the draft policy