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PURA Urges Radio Stations To Regularise License Status To Continue Operations

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The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) informs the public that through its periodic monitoring exercise, it has realized several radio stations have either ceased operations or are operating on expired licenses. Both conducts contravenes the PURA Act and the Information and Communications (IC) Act.

During its January and February 2024 nationwide monitoring exercise, five (5) registered radio stations were found to have ceased operations without prior notification to the Authority in violation of the PURA Act and the IC Act section 235(1)(a). These radio stations are Deggo FM, Paradise FM (Basse Radio Station), Sky FM, Libidorr, and Radio 1 FM.

Prior to the monitoring exercise, PURA issued acompliance notice on 22nd December 2023. Thiscompliance notice urged radio stations to renew their licenses but to no avail. 

Consequently, PURA issued a notice of intention to revoke the licenses of these stations, requiring them to submit written representations by 10th July 2024, explaining why their licenses should not be revoked.

Similarly, PURA has also observed that some radio stations that have been issued broadcasting licenses to operate have never hit the airwaves. These FM Stations are – Exit One FM, Mahlegen Communication Network, Banjul FM, and Juneteenth Radio Stations. Accordingly, these broadcasting license holders have been served with a notice of intention to revoke their license and also required to explain in writing the reason(s) for their failure to start operations following the issuance of their license in violation of the PURA Act and the IC Act Section 235(1). 

Furthermore, the Authority has also identified several radio stations operating with expired licenses, a conduct that contravenes the PURA Act, the IC Act, and other regulatory instruments. Radio stations found to be operating with expired licenses are Foroyaa FM, Vibes FM, Teranga FM, Choice FM, Star FM, Kora FM, City Limits FM, West Coast Radio, Fayda One FM, Al Fallah FM, Hill Top FM, Nexus FM, Nuimi FM, Paradise FM, Taxi FM (formerly Unique FM), Capital FM, Janneh Koto, Hot FM, and Senn FM.

Under the law, a valid license is mandatory before providing services in the regulated sector. Therefore, stakeholders must comply with regulatory requirements to maintain a vibrant broadcasting sector.

Thus, PURA urges the above-mentioned stations to regularize their status by renewing their expired licenses on or before 10 July 2024 to ensure uninterrupted operations. 

PURA recognises the critical role radio broadcasting plays in the cultural, social, economic, and political lives of the people it is poised to serve. Radio broadcasting enhances information dissemination and creates employment opportunities for many people. 

PURA assures the public that it remains committed to upholding its regulatory mandate stipulated by the PURA Act and other relevant legal instruments, ensuring a fair and thriving broadcasting sector that creates a level playing field and supports democratic values.

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