‘FBC could not continue without State funding’

The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation office in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) cannot continue without government funding.

FBC chairman Ajay Bhai Amrit said this in a news conference yesterday, while responding to a question from the media on claims made by former FBC chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum that Government left FBC short changed.

Mr Amrit said since Mr Sayed-Khaiyum took on the reins at FBC, it had received about $93 million in public service broadcasting funds, but it would not be known for some time whether the funds were used for public service broadcasting or for other things.

“It takes quite a long time to work out where that money is going, how it came in, what it was used for, and 100 per cent we need to work on this but it will take weeks,” he said.

“It’s not a simple situation where I can sit down and say hold on, this money went yeah there, everywhere.

“It was used for various means so we’ve got to find out.”

Mr Amrit said some of FBC best customers were government departments.

“I was looking at our top performers in terms of advertisers, you know who paid per calendar year who paid the most in advertising to us through our revenue streams, and yes a lot of them were government entities.”

He noted the Ministry of Health in the list of top performers.

“I think I can confidently say the government ministries were spending a lot of money with us.”

Mr Amrit said FBC could not continue without Government funding, which was in the region of $11.2 million per year – almost $1 million per month.

He said it was a lot of money and FBC would like to be less dependent on government. “That’s something we’ve got to look at and work towards.”

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