The Namibian (Windhoek)

28 February 2014

Namibia: NBC Gets a N$1 Billion Despite Breaking Even

THE Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) will get just over N$1 billion over three years in State funding despite reporting improved financial results last year.

The State broadcaster has reduced losses in recent years since the government appointed prominent businessman Sven Thieme as chairman in a bid to turn around the financial fortunes of the loss-making corporation.

In the 2012/13 financial year, the corporation's revenue increased by 10% to reach N$67,9 million with the government providing funding of N$154,3 million during the period.

NBC's overall deficit was N$2,3 million compared to a deficit of N$48,5 million in 2011/12. This improvement resulted in Thieme saying, last year, that a break even was close.

However, the 2014/2015 budget show that the NBC will be one of the recipients of huge funding with just over N$1 billion in the next three years.

Budget documents tabled in parliament last week by finance minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila say the money for the NBC will be used for operating expenses, infrastructure development, which includes transmitter network improvement, implementation of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration and upgrading of studios.

The documents show that other State-owned media companies and including NamZim, a joint venture with the Zimbabwean government, will be handsomely funded from state coffers.

NamZim will receive N$39 million over three years, New Era will also receive N$39 million over the same period while the Namibia Press Agency will receive N$62 million over three years.

The documents reveal that only a few State-owned companies will bring in revenue in terms of dividends and profit share over the next three years.

The State is expecting to receive N$90 million from the Bank of Namibia in 2014/2015, an increase in revenue of N$98 million in 2015/2016 and the biggest sum of N$114 million expected from the central bank in 2016/2017.

The government is expecting to receive N$565 million from diamond producer, Namdeb in 2014/2915, N$632 million in 2015/2016 and a bumper N$725 million is projected in 2016/2017.

The Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings (NPTH) is projected to contribute N$17 million in 2014/2015 and N$20 million in 2015/206.

State-owned enterprises are due to receive a total of N$9,5 billion during the 2014/15 fiscal year and a total of N$24,8 billion over the next three years.

Part of this funding will go to TransNamib with N$771 million flowing to the transport company over three years. The money will be used for maintenance of railways and the management of the Northern Railway project.

The Namibia Tourism Board will get N$120 million over the same period. Another notable recipient is Agribank, that is expected to receive N$95 million over three years for Affirmative Action loans.

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