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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ondo Assembly Laments Continued Closure of State- owned Broadcast Station

The Ondo State House of Assembly has lamented the continued closure of the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC) .

Also,efforts by the House of Assembly to intervene in the closure of the state media outfit met a brick wall as members of the panel constituted to look into the challenges facing the station failed to appear before the House.

Lawmakers in the assembly had on Wednesday summoned the five-man panel to appear before the parliament over the closure of the government-owned broadcast television station.

The panel headed by Mr. Kunle Adebayo also has Mr. Soji Alakuro, Mrs. Iretiola Ojekhoa and Mr Steve Alabi as members while Mr Tubosun Isijola is secretary.

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had in March set up a five-man panel to look into the challenges facing the Ondo State Radio Vision Corporation (OSRC) and Orange Fm.

The panel was also constituted to look into several complaints against the two state-owned media outfits mostly the OSRC over ineffective performance.

Adebayo, chairman of the five man panel was absent at the plenary session of the Assembly on Thursday.

Speaking, the Chairman of the OSRC Chapel, Mr. Sola Obagbemisoye, decried the highhandness of the panel, whom he said renegeed on its promise to only shut down the station for only two weeks.

Obagbemisoye lamented that the action would further deteriorate the bad condition of the corporation, which he hinged on poor management and corruption by past administration.

In his words: “For over two months now, the station has been shut down and the workers are left stranded, without any hope of reopening in sight.
“The panel said it would only shut down the station for two weeks and thereafter start operations.”

Folorunsho Ojo, the Chairman of Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU) in OSRC revealed that several committees were constituted in the past to raise an alarm over the corruption in the station but no avail.

Ojo said the closure of the station has an adverse effects on state government activities.

He lamented that the radio and television stations used to operate between five and eight hours Station.

He maintained that this is against the 18hrs operation stipulated by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The stations union had disclosed in their findings how the management expended N30m on the 120,000 litres of petrol annually but collected N65m from the government.

“Records have shown that the 27KVA generator at the DG official residence consumed 900 litres per month for 8 years. While DG confessed before panel that the generator consumed only 60 litres in a month.

“The immediate past management allegedly purchased 10HD cameras at the cost of N2.1m per unit amounting to N21m. Consequent upon investigations, it was discovered that the management actually purchased four instead of 10 as claimed to have been purchased by management, while the actual market price was N370, 000.

“The monthly allocation of huge sum of money for the servicing transmitters is also questionable. Equally, the monthly spending of over N500, 000 on the newly purchased 810 KVA generator for servicing as claimed by the management is also questionable.

“DG spent over N8 million in Blissworld. In spite of his N850, 000 official residence annually at Ijapo Estate Akure under batter arrangement”.

The state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. James Sowole, stressed that the rot in the system was enormous and against the standard of NBC.

Sowole urged the panel to jettison mass sack of workers as speculated in some quarters, saying it would not augur well with the corporation and state at large due to the extant economic recession.

The Speaker, Bamidele Oloyelogun, however, noted that the panel chairman, Adebayo, called to inform of his engagement with Governor Akeredolu in Abuja as the reason for his absence.

Oloyelogun said the lawmakers of the assembly were prepared to know the reasons why the only state owned television station was shut down for almost two months.

“It is wrong if you are a chairman of a panel to look into activities of an organisation, and you decided to shut the place (OSRC) down.

“It is wrong, and in the House of Assembly, we condemn this. The OSRC members they are here this morning, they are with us, we deliberated a lot, they have given us all the problem, they let us know all the problems they have.

“We are looking into it, before next week Wednesday, we must have taken some vital decisions as we would be meeting over the issue of the station” he said.

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