Dr. Muideen Akorede, the Sole Administrator, Kwara State Government media houses, has said only N482 million was budgeted for the repositioning of the state’s three media houses.
Akorede told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Sunday that the clarification became necessary to debunk the rumour making the round that N1 billion to N2 billion was budgeted for the exercise.
NAN reports that the state owned media are: Radio Kwara, officially known as Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation; Herald Newspaper; and Kwara Television.
The sole administrator said whoever was in doubt of the figure should visit the state website to verify in the budget or purchase a copy of the budget at the state Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.
Akorede, also the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the project was one of its kind in the whole of North Central Nigeria.
He said: “The repositioning of the media houses, no state government in the whole of North Central Nigeria has done what Governor Ahmed has done for them.
“Though running a media house is a continuous process, but he has done very well for them.
“There is this rumour going round the town on the amount budgeted for this repositioning; N482 million was budgeted for the repositioning of these three media houses.
“If you take out taxes of about N66 million or thereabout, you are left with just N420 million.
“So the that story of N2 or N1 billion that people are talking about is false.”
The governor’s aide observed that the same time that Kwara State started the project, the Kaduna State Government budgeted N2.6 billion for the same thing.
Akorede added: “In fact, it budgeted that amount for a radio and a TV station only.
“Whereas, we are doing same for the three media houses.”
Under the repositioning, Akorede claimed that the state had built a brand new 17-room office with a section of networked computers for the Herald Newspaper.
He said: “No media house in the state has that kind of network.
“I made bold to say that there is no media house in the whole of this state that has that kind of set up.
“So, comment is free, but facts are sacred.
“So, I go back to my point that yes, there are challenges, but Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has done very well for the media houses.”
The exercise, which Akorede said had been completed, moved the three broadcasting stations in the state from analogue to digital.
They are Midland FM, Radio Kwara AM and Kwara TV.
He said: “This phase of the repositioning has been completed.
“I can say you don’t finish building in a University.
“If you take Kwara TV now, it has completed its Digital Switch-Over.
“Kwara TV is now on two platforms: StarTimes and Free TV.
“It has gone from one studio to operating two studios that are interlinked.
“Just like Channels TV will run its news from different studio, Kwara TV now has the capacity.
“They have gone from having two cameras to three digital cameras, two editing suites, new reception area, Uninterrupted Power Supply device and modern Control Area, among others.
“Midland FM is also digitalised.
“Once the digital transmitter is switched on the content on airwave will be digitalised.
“They have digital mixers, consoles and the like.
“All the media houses are connected online.”
Akorede attributed the challenges that had halted operations of the media houses in couple of weeks to financial challenges.
NAN had earlier reported the breakdown of the three media houses for over a month.
The governor’s aide claimed that running cost amounting to N11.3 million was last week released to the media houses to commence operations.
According to him, the April salaries of their workers have also been paid alongside the release of the operation fund.
He said: “For the government, it is a difficult situation because on the one hand it has spent much on the repositioning of the media houses and on the other hand, we have challenges with paying their recurrent expenditure such as running cost.
“They have received their full subvention and they should start operation by this week.
Therefore, it is untrue that the Kwara media houses are in comatose or grounded to a halt by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administration.”