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Broadcasters, UCC Disagree on License Fees Waiver

“We also suggest that every Government program should have a 2-5% budget component for sensitization and awareness and this should be dedicated towards buying media across all platforms including newspapers, TV, Radio and online for communicating the new normal,” Karisa said.
05 Jun 2020 16:44
NAB appearing before the committee

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The National Association of Broadcasters-NAB has asked Government to waive license and signal carriage fees as a stimulus for the struggling media industry. The NABS executive committee was appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy chaired by Syda Bbumba together with Uganda Communications Commission-UCC.

The committee is scrutinizing the effect of Covid-19 on businesses. The NBS Chairperson, Kin Karisa told the committee that media houses are struggling to operate and clear license fees. He asked government to waive of broadcasting fees for three years to help them keep afloat.  

He also asked government to consider waving off signal carriage fees charged by Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and Signet for at least six months to enable media to disseminate government information to the public. The broadcasters also asked Government to support the media using the money for sensitisation.

“We also suggest that every Government program should have a 2-5% budget component for sensitization and awareness and this should be dedicated towards buying media across all platforms including newspapers, TV, Radio and online for communicating the new normal,” Karisa said. 

He argued that that they have been giving Government free airtime and its time the media is supported at this critical time.

//Cue in: And you will…  

Cue out:…going to Speak”//  

 

Joseph Beyanga, the NABS General Secretary asked Government to clear Outstanding arrears to  media houses amounting to over Shillings 15 billion to boost their struggling businesses.  

  

//Cue in: “Clear outstanding bill.. 

Cue out:…alive and afloat”//  

However, the acting UCC ED, Irene Kaggwa, said they cannot waive off fees at the moment, saying media houses cannot expect waivers and a stimulus at the same time.  

//Cue in: “License waivers madam…   

Cue out:…is already limping”//     

Uganda Journalist’s Association that was also scheduled to appear asked for more time

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