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NFP Leaders comment silly and irresponsible: FBC CEO

August 5, 2018 7:00 pm

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation chief executive, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says recent suggestions by the National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad to stop paying any PSB fee to the FBC is silly and irresponsible.

Professor Prasad in his speech at the NFP AGM last week had said that if NFP wins the elections they will stop all spending on FBC, Fiji Sun and Qorvis.

He has time and again spoken against FBC claiming the national broadcaster is biased and takes sides with the current government now he’s threatening to cut any money paid by the government to the FBC.

“I can tell you that the first thing we will cut is government propaganda spending on Fiji Sun, FBC and Qorvis.”

The FBC chief executive says he appeared before the Standing Committee On Economic Affairs recently and explained in detail the process of Public Service Programs that FBC produces, the fee that it receives from the government for this and the nationwide free AM radio service.

He says NFP’s Prem Singh was also present during this presentation and was satisfied with the response provided to his numerous questions.

“We assumed that Mr Singh like other parliamentarians would have gone back and explained all this to his party and to his leader just like members of SODELPA would have done who are members of the committee. Maybe Mr Singh did explain it to Mr Prasad and Mr Prasad ignored his information or maybe Mr Singh didnt explain the information and Mr Prasad still doesn’t know about PSB and remains ignorant about how PSB works or maybe it’s just good old politicking because it’s election year.”

The chief executive clarified if any new government decides to stop paying the FBC for the current PSB work then it will be at the expense of the common Fijian.

“Then there will be no more AM radio, no disaster warnings in villagers and outer lying areas, no educational and information programs on radio and television, No FBC 2 commercial free-to-air channel and the way Mr Prasad is going on he will end up hurting only ordinary Fijians and ironically these are the same people he says he cares for.”

SODELPA parliamentarian Viliame Gavoka who is also a member of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs with NFP’s Prem Singh has publicly suggested after the recent presentation by the FBC that the government needs to pay more money to the FBC to match the value of the massive public service work being done by the national broadcaster.

Sayed-Khaiyum says Biman Prasad needs to think hard before making such silly and irresponsible comments.