Communications and IT Minister Reopens NBC Gulf Building

Masiu said it was therefore pleasing for him to officially reopen NBC Gulf after a 20-year hiatus

June 10, 2020

Minister for Information & Communication Technology, Hon Timothy Masiu left Kerema Town yesterday extremely pleased to have officially reopened the NBC Gulf office and studio building after it was condemned by the Gulf provincial health authorities.

“NBC Gulf was first provincial station in the Southern region to be set up in 1978.

“However, after successive years of neglect, the building was condemned in 2000 and our local staff told to relocate to the Gulf provincial administration building where they had been broadcasting from since.

“It was therefore quite pleasing to officially reopen NBC Gulf yesterday (Monday 08/06/20) after a 20-year hiatus,” Minister Masiu said today as he prepared to leave Kerema Town to attend Parliament in Port Moresby.

Mr Masiu hopes the local staff were as excited as he was to have this iconic provincial radio station return to its roots here on the hill where it all first started in 1978.

“Back then, it was provincial stations like NBC Gulf that stepped up and provided a voice of unity, which played a significant role in communicating to our people during our country’s formative years.

“For this, this country will forever be grateful to NBC Gulf and our other provincial stations,” Mr Masiu said.

Minister said the Kerema reopening also officially marked the end of a 3-province visit of NBC broadcast facilities for him.

He was in Kavieng from 20th to 24th May to officially reopen the NBC New Ireland office & studio complex, before travelling to Lae on 27th May 2020 to officiate at a similar ceremony for NBC Morobe.

“While in Lae, I also travelled to Bulolo District to officially switch on the NBC FM radio and TV Project with the Minister for National Planning & Member for Bulolo, Hon. Sam Basil.

Minister Masiu said the major renovation of these condemned buildings was made possible through the allocation of PIP funding in the 2019 Budget.

“Through the 2019 PIP Budget, NBC was allocated about K8.0m to undertake long-overdue major renovations of its aging office, studio and staff accommodation infrastructure.

“Of the K8.0m that was approved for this, only K1.5 was actually released to the NBC in 2019, which was used to undertake major renovations on these three buildings..

“The 2020 PIP Budget, the Treasury Department has already released sufficient funding to undertake similar major renovations to NBC Western, NBC Madang, NBC Western Highlands, NBC East New Britain, and NBC Enga,” Mr Masiu explained.

He said  the NBC Management has since publicly tendered these projects in the newspapers last week and urged only reputable local companies to bid for them.

Meanwhile, Minister Masiu has commended Governor of Gulf, Hon. Chris Haiveta and his Provincial Government for the “practical way” in which it has partnered with NBC to improve NBC’s operations in the Province.

“When I took up this Ministry, one of my immediate undertakings was to improve NBC coverage and services to our people –  but through greater understanding and partnership with the respective Provincial Administrations.

“As a result of this understanding, NBC has now renovated the complex at a cost of K500, 000, and the Provincial Government made available a similar amount to procure the studio equipment,” he said.

Minister Masiu said a further example of this partnership was that NBC and the Gulf Provincial Government working together to erect four towers in the Province.

“The Provincial Government has made funds available for the erecting of a tower each in Kikori, Baimuru, Malalaua and the NBC studio site at Kerema. NBC will provide technical advice and support on the location of these towers, as well as their installation,” he said.

On the improvement of radio coverage in the Gulf Province and indeed the entire country, Minister Masiu said he has directed the NBC Management to ask the remaining manufacturers of SW transmitters in the world if they can manufacture NBC-specific SW transmitters.

“I also met with the Japanese Ambassador to PNG last week and he has offered JICA’s technical assistance and advice on how best to revive the four (4) SW stations they installed in four regions of PNG many years ago.

“But should the advice of these manufacturers on their capability and spare parts backup not be feasible, NBC has plans to deploy Medium Wave (AM) transmission in the provinces and at headquarters.

“In fact, NBC will purchase and install a Medium Wave transmitter this year in Goroka that will cover the majority of the Highlands Region.

“I also strongly encourage the Gulf Provincial Government to invest in your own MW radio transmitter to install either in Kerema or Malalaua as it will easily bring radio services to almost the entire Province,” Minister Masiu said.

Press release

© South Pacific Post Limited (Post-Courier) June 10, 2020

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