Officers at the Ashanti Regional Revenue Office of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), have said payments of TV license fees have been encouraging for the past few days.
Officials have attributed the development to the setting up a special TV License Court to deal with offenders, as well as discussions on the matter.
Residents from some parts of the Ashanti Region trooped to the Kumasi GBC Revenue Office either to register or pay for the TV License fees when Citi News visited the facility on Wednesday, January 03, 2018. Officers were also seen assisting persons who had gone to pay the fee.
82-year old Daniel Bryan Kwadwo Bomfo, a retired Senior High Court Registrar who joined the long queue paid an amount of Ghc 36 as a license fee for his one Television set for the period of one year.
As someone who has worked in the court before, Mr. Bomfo said he never wanted to fall foul of the law.
“As a senior High Court Registrar, I don’t want to be to be sent to my own court, to stand before my own judge to be prosecuted. It will be a disgrace to me, so that is why I have come to pay my TV license fee”.
He called on Ghanaians to pay the fees to enable the state broadcaster generate enough revenue to be able to improve its programming and content.
Several other people had joined the queue to go through the process for fear of being prosecuted.
Another man who spoke to Citi News said “I heard it on the radio that the Chief Justice is likely to prosecute those who violate the law. So that is why I have come to pay because no one wants to go to jail”.
Some residents on the streets of Kumasi held opposing views on the payment of the fees.
They questioned the decision to give a chunk of the TV license fee to the state broadcaster since it has done little to satisfy the citizens.
A finance staff at the Revenue office, Anthony Kabah, disclosed that payment of the fee has been encouraging after an announcement to set up special courts to deal with offenders.
He indicated that the concept of the TV license was not meant to punish the people, but it was their civic right to pay taxes to the nation.
Mr. Kabah stressed that the law clearly states the license is collected because of ownership and not content. He thus appealed to the general public to partner the GBC towards nation building.
The Chief Justice has appointed a Circuit Court two judge, Her Honor Patricia Amponsah to head the special TV license court in the Ashanti Region.
How much is the TV license fee?
GBC officially reintroduced the collection of the TV Licence fees in 2015 after years of putting it on hold due to non-payments.
While domestic TV users are to pay between GH¢36 and GH¢60 for one or more TV sets in the same house every year, TV set repairers and sales outlets are to pay an annual sum of between GHc60 to GHc240.
For commercial TV operators, they are to pay GHc36 per annum for each TV set.
GBC had in the last two years since the re-introduction, appealed to Ghanaians to voluntarily make their payments.