In the height of controversy surrounding the ownership of the Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Berbice)
television station, former Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon has given assurance that information will be forthcoming to residents on Monday.
Speaking with Guyana Times on Friday, Solomon said he will not make any further pronouncements regarding the issue before such time, stating rather that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo is expected to be in Linden for a meeting on Monday and will “properly inform” the community on what is happening then.
“I’m not going to pronounce on anything right now, I’ll leave that for the Chairman. Certainly the community is going to be properly informed on Monday. The Prime Minister is going to be in Linden on Monday so I’m sure that after whatever meeting that he has, he’s going to give an update on that. But I know the Board met again with the Prime Minister…”, he said.
Following moves by Solomon to have the station set up for a trial run about a week ago, the Region’s present Chairman Renis Morian had expressed concern that the station is set to be handed over to “private” individuals and called for a cease order to prevent such.
While Solomon had indicated that the station would have been officially handed over last Saturday, it did not go as planned.
A television station for the region formed part of the August 21, 2012 Agreement which was signed between the previous administration and the Region, under the stewardship of then Regional Chairman Solomon. The Region 10 Broadcasting Inc (RBI), a Trust was then established in an effort to advance the setting up of the station for which Solomon serves as one of the directors.
Last July, Head of the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU), Valmiki Singh advised that the RBI could be assigned a channel for use as a regional television channel which gave clearance for the station to be established. By then, Solomon had ceased to act in the capacity of Regional Chairman.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Singh gave technical recommendations during talks with the former Regional Chairman while a tripartite meeting was convened by Prime Minister Nagamootoo who holds the information and telecommunications portfolio.
However, two weeks ago Morian told the media he was in receipt of a letter from the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) which indicated that permission has been granted by its governing Board for the advancement of the television station.
He then made it clear that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is the authority managing the affairs of Region10, hence any handing over, discussions or otherwise pertaining to licence establishment of a television station in the Region should be channelled through his office.
Morian had stated too that there had been no discussion with any “private” investor and called on the office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of the Presidency to look into the matter urgently. He stated then that while discussions would have been ongoing with the previous administration, there was no such continuity under the present one.
Solomon had however refuted the claims that the station will be managed privately, indicating that it will be in the interest of the people of Linden and Region 10. Similar to Morian he stated too that the green-light had already been given by the GNBA and systems had already been put in place for the establishment of the station.