The Management of the Nigerian Television Authority has been accused of allegedly conniving StarTimes to move about N200 billion out of the country between 2008 and now.
The Senate Joint Committees on Finance and National Planning made the allegation on
NTA, the country’s national television, had been in a joint venture with StarTimes since 2008.
The Management of the station had on Monday informed the lawmakers that the joint venture had been running without profit in the last 10 years.
However, when the Management of NTA appeared before the lawmakers to submit the requested audited account, it was discovered that in 2018 alone, about $36.1 million was recorded in the dollar account, while N11 billion was recorded in the Naira account.
This was contrary to the claims of the Management of NTA that the joint venture had not yielded any profit for the past 12 years.
The Chairman of the Joint Panel, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, who was visibly angry with high level of alleged fraud in the NTA, said the country had lost about N100 billion to capital flight.
Olamilekan said: “So that we can look at everything relating to this transactions because from the last record we are able to gather, over N200 billion was generated because only two years alone accounted for about N30 billion.
“N13 billion in 2018 and about N11 billion in 2019.
“This is almost N30 billion.
“And another $90 million.
“By the time you now take it from 2008, that will come to about N100 billion that was missing.”
Spirited efforts by the Management of the NTA to justify the failure of the joint venture to make profit irked the members of the Panel as the Chairman of the Committee called for full investigation into the account of NTA.
Olamilekan also called for the Managing Director of TV Enterprise, Maxwell Loco, and two top officials of the NTA to always appear before the panel until the conclusion of the investigation.
The Co-Chairman of the Joint Panel, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, further called for forensic audit of the NTA.