The incoming nbc Board under the Chairmanship of business executive Sven Thieme will continue from where the previous Board left off in ensuring the implementation of strict financial control measures to further improve the public broadcaster’s finances.
The previous Board, which was also headed by Thieme, succeeded in guiding the nbc to reach its N$100 million target in own revenue for the financial year ended March 2015. The income was derived mainly from TV licenses, advertising and tower rentals. The Board also oversaw the digitalization of nbc, which has now exceeded 67% national coverage.
The newly appointed nbc Board, whose term ends on May 25, 2020, comprises of Thieme, Andrew Kanime, Head of Human Resources, FNB (re-appointed), Ongwediva-based lawyer Inonge Mainga, Otavi Chief Executive Officer Moses Matyayi and human resource specialist Wilhencia Kanjegerue Uiras.
Chairperson Thieme says the previous nbc Board had set itself a vision with three overarching vision metrics when it took over - own revenue increased to N$100 million, leadership training for all and exceeding 67% coverage of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). All these targets were reached.
“We established and redeveloped the value system. This has prompted us to put a good Senior Leadership Team in place upon which the detail planning and execution of our new plan followed. We are proud to say that we have achieved our vision metrics,” says Thieme.
In addition, the nbc Board has introduced monthly management accounts and other proper financial reporting systems. “We have cleaned up the books and we now submit Annual Financial Statements on a regular basis and on time,” adds Thieme.
When Thieme took over as Board Chairman in 2010, nbc’s budget deficit stood at N$42 million and N$43 million the following year. “These included quite a number of write offs where certain assets shown in the books did not exist anymore. For the last three years we basically showed a break-even - a N$3 million deficit in 2013, a surplus of N$14 million in 2014 and deficit again of N$10 million.
One must add that the numbers of the last three years included still some write-offs. All in all we are very pleased with where we are today,” says Thieme.
On the issue of concerns that have been raised over the nbc’s continued dependence on Government subsidies, Thieme says this will continue as the public broadcaster fulfills a national role in terms of making radio and television available to everyone.
“nbc will always be funded by Treasury. If we were to run the nbc on commercial basis, you would cut down on infrastructure costs that do not give a return. So for example, you would only retain the large cities where you know you can recover your costs. The subsidization by Government has increased and is due to the heavy investment program into the backlog of desperately needed infrastructure investment and the digitalization. Strictly speaking you would have to split the funding by Government between infrastructure investment and operational expense support to get a clear picture,” says the Chairman.