N$9 Million for NBC Election Coverage

GOVERNMENT has set aside an additional N$9 million to fund the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation’s coverage of this year’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Minister of Information and Communication Technology Joel Kaapanda announced this in the National Assembly yesterday, saying that the money will boost the NBC’s coverage of the elections.

Kaapanda further pointed out that the national broadcaster’s offices and equipment need to be increased so that it can be able to cover all the regions and for the coverage to be better than in the past.

“The NBC currently has offices in six regions and the need for additional offices to ensure representation in all regions, albeit for the election period only, is apparent,” said Kaapanda. According to him, the NBC has recruited additional staff for the election period to be deployed in all 14 regions, and for the national broadcaster to increase its representation in the country for speedy reporting and filing of stories.

Kaapanda said the NBC has played a fundamental role in keeping the public informed and entertained, therefore its need to be fully involved in the elections cannot be overstated. The N$9 million is in addition to the N$311,9 million which the NBC received from government through the Information ministry’s budget this year.

NBC had earlier said the bulk of the N$311,9 million will go towards the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) roll-out.

DTT is the technological evolution of broadcast television from analogue television. It transmits land-based (terrestrial) signals.

Apart from the DTT roll-out, the budgeted money will also go to upgrading studios and the development of local content.

However, last month NBC director general Albertus !Aochamub announced that the national broadcaster had posted a surplus of N$14 million for the financial year 20132014.

He said targeted and disciplined spending and efficient revenue collection led to the NBC going “beyond break-even”.

Two years ago in the same month, NBC struggled to pay salaries of employees and battled to meet requirements forced on it by a six-day strike.

Government in the past accused the NBC of poor financial planning, but the parastatal’s management had maintained that they were not receiving enough money.

Source : The Namibian