The state-owned National Communications Network has requested a $20 Million cash infusion from the government as it finds itself financially strained to meet its monthly payroll and bills.
Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman confirmed earlier today that a request was put before the cabinet. However, he said he could not confirm that the money is going to be used to assist the cash strapped radio and television network in the payment of salaries.
Trotman said it was explained to the cabinet that NCN currently has several payments outstanding as it moves to bring in all of those payments, it is hoping that the “bail out” by the government would cushion the effects of the financial problems.
News Source understands that NCN’s monthly payroll stands at close to $14 million to cover its over 160 employees. Additionally the company pays a monthly electricity bill to the Guyana Power and Light company for close to $6 Million.
Sources close to the Ministry of the Presidency have indicated to News Source that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who holds responsibility for the information sector, has asked management at NCN to put together a detailed plan to show how the money that it is requesting, will be spent.
Although NCN was making close to $500 million a year under the previous government, most of that money went back into its expenses. Since the new government has been in place, moves have been made to trim the NCN staff.
Some 20 persons who worked at the Office of the President under the PPP, but were on NCN’s payroll, were sent home.
While NCN’s radio networks have been returning profits, its television networks have been spending more than they have been making and the new government intends to address that problem. A new Board of Directors for NCN is expected to be announced soon.