[www.inewsguyana.com] – Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo announced in the National Assembly on Monday night that several employees from the National Communications Network (NCN) will be sent home as the Company continues to struggle financially.
He said a number of the employees, who were hired to do propaganda work for the former People’s Progressive Party government, would be rationalized under “another PPP- Proper Placement Plan.”
The National Assembly passed a $375 million spending package covering the2015 activities, functions and duties of the Prime Minister, and the offices under his control. The allocation amounts to a total of $267,980 million for current expenditure, and $107,079 million for capital projects.
The package includes some $68 million for the Government Information Agency (GINA) and $77 million for the National Communication Network (NCN). There were also allocations for Lethem, Mahdia and Port Kaituma Power and Light Incs.
Under the previous administration, allocations for GINA and NCN were listed under Office of the President, but under the new Government, the responsibility for Information and Communication has been placed under the Prime Minister’s office.
As a result, the budget reflects that under for the period January 1 to August 31, 2015, under the Office of the President, GINA received $80.4 million while NCN received $69.5 million. Under the Office of the Prime Minister, GINA will receive $63.939 million as funding for the remainder of the year (September to December.) The information agency will also receive another $4.3 million as capital allocation for the purchase of equipment such as cameras and accessories.
Meanwhile, NCN will receive $27.2 million for staff maintenance and another $50 million for the rehabilitation of communication towers at New Amsterdam, the provision of an access road at Onderneeming, the provision for flood alleviation measures at radio and television stations in Georgetown, the provision for a communication tower and paved driveway in Linden, broadcast equipment, lighting kits, UPS, radio automation systems and security lights.
During the consideration of the estimates, the Prime Minister in defending the allocations for the agencies, pointed out that under the previous administration, the agencies were “PPP propaganda machines,” but that the present administration has begun a process of transforming GINA and NCN into “professional state agencies”.
During the deliberations, the PM also defended the selection of the new Director of GINA, Beverly Alert as being a ‘qualified professional and not a political hack.’ He stated that the agency’s director is a professional public relations person with many years of experience.’
It should be noted that Alert is a Member of the Alliance For Change (AFC) and was a candidate on their list for the May 11 General and Regional Elections.