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‘Pass budget for SSBC to perform,’ Makuei tells MPs over TV coverage

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Thursday, June 15, 2023

Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth - Photo: Awan Moses/Eye Radio

The Minister of Information has urged the members of the Reconstituted National Legislative Assembly to pass a budget to improve the state-owned TV Broadcasting Corporation for extensive coverage.

This came after some lawmakers demanded the Minister of Information broadcast the weekly business of the assembly to be covered live.

Others say the SSBC must be inclusive and cover different parts of the country.

While other MPs questioned the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation for not giving equal coverage to corners of the country.

They questioned the National Minister of Information Michael Makuei during the parliamentary session in Juba yesterday.

In response, the Minister of Information Michael Makuei blamed the lawmakers for passing less budget for the public broadcaster.

According to Makuei, the current budget of SSBC cannot support staff to work morning, afternoon, and night shifts.

“Right Honorable Speaker, I thought part of the answers is with you here in the parliament, you know the budget that you passed,” said Makuei told MPs on Wednesday.

“If you know the budget that you have passed, that budget cannot meet the performance of the SSBC,

“If you want the SSBC to perform passed a budget for it so that we can employ people for three shifts. First shifts in the morning, second shifts in the afternoon, and night shifts. We can continue to operate 24 hours,

“We are operating now only one shift and if we are operating on one shift then definitely there will be a lot of issues to be covered,

“The parliament is not the only institution that we covered but they cover other institutions as well and in the course of doing that we find it difficult to get full coverage to the parliament this way,

“When the parliament sits we take just like other institutions, we take and summarized and the Speaker of Parliament at the end of the sitting gives a statement and that statement is played in the news.”

The Minister of Information also confirmed that the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation is off on satellite now due to failure to pay rental fees for the last three years.

“As you might be aware these days the SSBC or the TV is off or it is not operational because of two things, we have not paid for the satellite for the last three years,” Makuei said.

“Every year we make a submission and the year comes and goes every time we make a submission it comes and goes at the end of the day the Arab-Sate decided to part us off pending payment of their debts,

“We have what we call the uplink, uplink was bought in 2016 and was supposed to operate for five years after which it will come to an end, it has now come to an end also and we are unable to pay the other one this is the problem which we are facing.”

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