Public Affairs Minister says NCN near financial collapse; APNU/AFC owes over $16M

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Minister of Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy

Minister of Public Affairs within the Office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy, has revealed that the A Partnership For National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Coalition owes a whopping $16.7 million to the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN).

During a virtual media briefing on Thursday, McCoy, who has oversight responsibility for the various state media entities, detailed that NCN Television is in a “frightening” financial position at the moment with millions of dollars being owed to the company.

According to the Minister, these monies owed come at a time when NCN is “near financial collapse”.

He explained that while majority of the monies owed are from various Ministries, the APNU/AFC is among the biggest defaulters.

While he did not provide details about what the sum was owed for, Minister McCoy suggested that this could be for advertisements during the March 2 General and Regional Elections campaign.

“I only see one political party here owing. PPP did not use NCN to place ads, and if we did it would’ve been paid upfront but as far as I know, we didn’t… But I see here A Partnership For National Unity owing 16,078,000 to the company. I don’t see anything here from any other parties,” he stated.

He posited that initial assessments of the state-owned media entities – including the Department of Public Information (DPI) and the Guyana National Newspaper Ltd (GNNL) – found a lack of prudent financial management, high levels of nepotism, poor interpersonal relations, poor working conditions and polarization of staff.

McCoy added that his Ministry is now in the process of reorganising and retooling these agencies.

Only last week, the new government announced temporary appointments at two of these agencies.

Broadcaster Michella Abraham-Ali was appointed interim CEO of NCN and Moshamie Ramotar was appointed acting General Manager at the Guyana National Newspapers Limited, which publishes the State newspaper – the Guyana Chronicle.