The Managing Director of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), Winston Agaba, has attributed the station’s dismal performance to recurrent under funding from Government.
He made these remarks while meeting Members of Parliament on the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Committee on Thursday January 21, 2021.
Speaking today, Agaba intimated that UBC has been given a cold shoulder despite its crucial role in steering Government’s Digital Transformation Programmes.
“Yesterday, we were doing E-learning on TV and radio but I want to put it on record that we didn’t get any money apart from the supplementary that we managed to fight for and they gave us 2 billion,” he intimated.
“And we are still struggling and I hope that the committee can really interface with the powers that be,” Agaba added.
His remarks were in response to the Budget Framework Paper for the 2021/22 Financial Year (FY) as regards funding towards the national broadcaster.
“The committee recommended that Shs 18 Bn be maintained in the medium term to continue supporting the role of UBC as a national broadcaster and additional Shs 16.6 Bn be provided to cater for local content development and dissemination in a bid to increase listenership and viewership as a national broadcaster,” the budget framework document states.
Commenting, Paul Emoru, the Committee head, without mentioning names, disclosed that this is not an isolated issue, noting that some media houses are yet to receive their advertising arrears.
“Even the businesses that are being given take a year to be paid. And we saw a bill of close to 11 billion that the Government is holding from media houses. And media houses cannot pay journalists, cannot buy serious equipment,” Emoru revealed.
The State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Peter Ogwang, in rebuttal, said no media house has approached them to this effect.
“We have also challenged the media houses which have monies which they owe to the Government to give us a list. Unfortunately, none of them has ever come to my ministry to share with us, including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB),” Ogwang responded.