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Cabinet approves N1.3 billion for operations of three broadcast outfits

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The Federal executive Council has approved three contracts worth N1.3 billion for operations of three parastatals under the Ministry of Information.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Maohammed made the revelation while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “I presented three memos today on behalf of three parastatals in my Ministry; the Nigeria Television Authority NTA, the News Agency of Nigeria NAN and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria FRCN.

“The NTA got an approval for the award of contract for the procurement of cameras, microphones and television U packs for the sum of N283, 813, 990.75. It is significant to note that in the last 20 years, attempts have been made only twice, to upgrade the equipment of the NTA. First being in 1999 during the FIFA U20 World Cup and in 2009 during the FIFA U17 World Cup where Nigeria hosted the competitions. Therefore, there is the need to upgrade their equipment in order for them to perform their duty of safeguarding democracy and disseminating news.”

According to the Minister, the sum of N148, 740, 900 for the News Agency of Nigeria NAN to procure 15 operational vehicles to enable the move to gather and disseminate news.

He said a total sum of N873, 052, 655 was approved for the FRCN to purchase with a breakdown of N561, 422, 955 for the purchase of 12 transmitters from Canada and N311, 629, 710 for the purchase of three outside broadcast vans.

“You will note that for quite a while, the medium and shortwave bands have been in use in the FRCN for almost four decades without any attempt to upgrade or replace them. So this is like a major shot in the arm for the FRCN to upgrade its equipment and procure new OB vans,” he explained.

Ime Njoku

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