Government in catch 22 on NBC
12 May 2021 | Local News
The premier made these remarks at the Eros Airport on Tuesday in response to queries from Nampa on government’s seriousness in addressing the industrial action which has seen Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) workers down tools since 22 April.
The workers are demanding better working conditions, salaries and benefits and permanent employment for at least 150 employees who have been on month-to-month contracts for over five years.
Rock, hard place
NBC finds itself between a rock and hard place as far as its finances are concerned, as its budgetary allocation was slashed from N$334.1 million to N$127.5 million - a 62% decrease from the previous financial year - during the current financial year.
This amount is a drop in the ocean for an entity whose monthly operational costs stand at N$32 million, its management argues.
NBC’s annual operational cost amounts to N$386.2 million, of which N$263 million goes to salaries, N$79.5 million is for direct operations, N$13.4 million for repairs and maintenance, N$29 million for support facilities and N$1.7 million for finance costs.
Asked if the government was in the financial position to make up for the shortfall, the premier was evasive. “The economic and financial position of our country is now known to all of us through the various reports that Government has released and analysis conducted even by independent institutions in our country,” she said. However, “we are committed to finding a solution soon, so that NBC will be able to play its due role in our country’s development.” – Nampa