NBC budget allocation grossly inadequate: Simataa

26 Apr 2019 08:50am
WINDHOEK, 26 APR (NAMPA) – The budget allocation for the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) of N.dollars 140 million is grossly inadequate to carry out its duties, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa said on Thursday.
While motivating his ministry’s N.dollars 321 million budget allocation for the 2019/2020 financial year in the National Assembly, Simataa noted NBC’s current allocation will not last the national broadcaster longer than June.
“This amount is only adequate to allow the corporation to conduct its operation between now and maybe the middle of the year, beyond that we will be looking in the heavens,” Simataa emphasised.
In comparison, in the 2016/17 financial year, NBC received N.dollars 252 million of the ministry’s N.dollars 495 million budget allocation.
NBC does not operate entirely as a commercial entity and going forward, will always rely on the State for funding, Simataa reminded the August house.
“It should be stated that the NBC is currently not funded at the optimum level that would allow the broadcaster to carry out its mandate,” the minister said.
Similarly, Simataa pointed out that the Namibia Film Commission’s allocation of N.dollars 3 million is insufficient to enable them to roll out local film content development.
The other media houses under the Information Ministry - New Era Publication Corporation received N.dollars 10 million, while Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) received N.dollars 15 million and NamZim, known as Southern Times was assigned N.dollars 5 million.
For logistics, administrative support services, organisational procedures, transport services and the development of relevant policies programme, N.dollars 65 million has been allocated.
In this programme, the ministry still requires an additional N.dollars 29 million to complete the construction of modern and ICT (information and communication technology) compliant ministerial regional offices at Nkurenkuru in Kavango West and Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region.
The ministry set aside N.dollars 7 million to provide for activities aimed at establishing a policy and regulatory regime that will ensure that the ICT sector continues to be in sync with national, regional, continental and global developments in the ever changing ICT domain, said Simataa.
The policy and legislative framework to ensure access to information as well as the continuation of the Nationhood and National Pride Campaign are set to receive N.dollars 35 million.
Simataa further outlined the importance of the Access to Information Bill and the need for it to be tabled in the NA this year.