Wednesday 19th April 2023
Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu has welcomed a K4.83m funding from the National Government for new NBC installations in Hela and Jiwaka provinces, as well as improving the coverage of the national broadcaster in Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB).
“I sincerely thanked the former O’Neil government and the current Marape – Rosso government for this much needed funding that will enable NBC finally set up properly in Hela and Jiwaka provinces,” Minsiter Masiu said.
He said the funding will greatly assist in further improving delivery of radio, television and online services to people of AROB.
“The K4.83 million was initially approved by the O’Neil Government in 2018 to urgently establish radio and TV services in the two new provinces and to extend the coverage of NBC in AROB leading up to the referendum vote,” Minsiter Masiu explained.
He commended the current government, under the leadership of PM Hon. James Marape for honoring commitment of the previous government by releasing the full funding as decided by the Cabinet in 2018.
“This also demonstrate maturity and consistency of the National Government that now enables NBC to fast track its efforts for the three provinces,” he said.
Minister Masiu also commended the NBC Management for utilizing its own funds and not idly waiting for the approved funds to assist the two new provinces.
“With the cooperation of the Hela Governor. Hon. Phillip Undialu and his Provincial Administration, NBC has already installed an impressive studio at the Whitehouse building in Tari Town where we have been broadcasting from since 25th December 2022,” he added.
“We have also relocated staff from NBC Southern Highlands.
“But with the added funding, we have heightened our discussions with Governor Undialu and his team to allocate a vacant piece of land in Tari Town so we can build a new NBC Office and studio complex.”
Minsiter Masiu said similarly for Jiwaka, NBC technical staff have been in Bans since January 2023, setting up its temporary office and studio facility.
“Work at the office and studio building is now complete and we are presently testing the relay of our national radio before we commission the temporary set up,” he further explained.
“While we have installed a very impressive studio facility and relocated existing staff there, it is still a temporary location and we are in discussion with the Jiwaka Governor and his administration to identify a permanent site for the permanent NBC Jiwaka office and studio building.”
Minister Masiu has now given directive to the NBC Management do scope on NBC AROB facility and coverage for the entire region as soon as possible.
“I expect a recommendation on the best fix solution for AROB whether it be FM, Medium Waves (MW) or SW and move on it immediately,” he stated.
The funding of K4.83 million also includes accommodation for NBC staff.
“The National Government has finally provided what it promised and I now expect the NBC Management to immediately scope or re- scope the works for these three provinces and implement them forthwith.”