NCN near financial collapse; APNU+AFC owes $16.7M for campaign ads – Minister McCoy
Minister of Public Affairs Kwame McCoy on Thursday said an assessment of state media entities has unearthed worrying findings and that the National Communications Network (NCN) is near financial collapse.
Minister McCoy, who works out of the Office of the Prime Minister, said President Irfaan Ali is already in receipt of a report which addresses the state of affairs at the state-owned NCN, Guyana Chronicle and the Department of Public Information (DPI).
During a virtual press conference, he said the assessment of these agencies found a lack of prudent financial management, nepotism, poor interpersonal relations, poor working conditions and polarization of staff.
McCoy said NCN was driven by management under the previous administration to “near financial collapse”.
“The situation is very frightening,” he added, explaining that the COVID-19 situation affected the revenue flow.
McCoy said NCN is owed by advertisers in excess of $190 million by mostly Ministries and Government agencies.
He disclosed that the APNU+AFC coalition owes NCN some $16.7 million for advertisements placed during the 2020 elections campaign season. He said the PPP did not use NCN for any advertising during the elections and doubted whether any money is owed in that regard.
“NCN has been receiving government subvention and when we examine what the company has in terms of finances you see it’s in a very terrible situation and when you examine what NCN has to work with today, the tools, there has been a degeneration of the resources there… things are totally bad,” McCoy said.
He said there are currently three vehicles not in working condition but could have been fixed for less than $100,000 but the previous management decided to rent vehicles at a cost of $7,000 per day.
McCoy told reporters that the Guyana Chronicle and DPI are plagued with bad and deficient management.
He described the situation as “top-heavy staffing…it’s just about providing opportunity for friends and family and the critical matters are left lagging.”
The Minister said the new PPP government will reorganise, retool and find new management to take the entities to the next level of success.
He said there will be a series of financial management interventions over the next few weeks. Already there have been temporary appointments to head NCN and Guyana Chronicle.