Belt-tightening at cash-strapped NBC

Belt-tightening at cash-strapped NBC

THE Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has had to make “serious” cuts in its activities following cash-flow problems, Director General Gerry Munyama said this week.

Munyama said the introduction of new programmes and restructuring aimed at improving the image of the public broadcaster had left the NBC with less financial resources. “We had to cut down seriously on overtime, postpone some things, restrict overseas trips in order to live within our means,” said the DG, adding that the changes had also meant a better service for viewers.He referred particularly to the introduction of a 24-hour broadcasting service, which is partly made up of Chinese and British television in the morning hours.Upgrading of equipment, training and outside broadcasts, such as major national events, State funerals and celebrations had taken up a lot of the corporation’s funds.NBC is largely dependent on the State for survival, but Munyama said they had been introducing measures to increase revenue.Munyama recently indicated that despite the NBC’s wish to become self-funding “at this stage the cry remains for increased Government support”.Munyama said measures to increase revenue included awarding a licence collection contract to the J&P Group owned by businessman John Akapandi Endjala.He confirmed on inquiry that plans were also afoot to swap the General Manager for Radio, Rector Mutelo, with his counterpart at Business Development, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Umbi Karuaihe-Upi.The NBC boss said he wanted to move Mutelo as he had wide-ranging experience at the NBC.”He is the longest serving [manager] and, looking at his qualifications, we need that aggressiveness.”Meanwhile, Munyama said, former television producer Helen Shiimbi had been appointed head of Oshiwambo Radio.She fills the vacancy left by Tobias Kandanga whom, he said, had asked to be transferred to Otjiwarongo.”We had to cut down seriously on overtime, postpone some things, restrict overseas trips in order to live within our means,” said the DG, adding that the changes had also meant a better service for viewers.He referred particularly to the introduction of a 24-hour broadcasting service, which is partly made up of Chinese and British television in the morning hours.Upgrading of equipment, training and outside broadcasts, such as major national events, State funerals and celebrations had taken up a lot of the corporation’s funds.NBC is largely dependent on the State for survival, but Munyama said they had been introducing measures to increase revenue.Munyama recently indicated that despite the NBC’s wish to become self-funding “at this stage the cry remains for increased Government support”.Munyama said measures to increase revenue included awarding a licence collection contract to the J&P Group owned by businessman John Akapandi Endjala.He confirmed on inquiry that plans were also afoot to swap the General Manager for Radio, Rector Mutelo, with his counterpart at Business Development, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Umbi Karuaihe-Upi.The NBC boss said he wanted to move Mutelo as he had wide-ranging experience at the NBC.”He is the longest serving [manager] and, looking at his qualifications, we need that aggressiveness.”Meanwhile, Munyama said, former television producer Helen Shiimbi had been appointed head of Oshiwambo Radio.She fills the vacancy left by Tobias Kandanga whom, he said, had asked to be transferred to Otjiwarongo.

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