The full operation and control of the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) in Linden is expected to cease, once a television station Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) comes into fruition.
The community presently has two television stations – 8 and 13 – apart from the additional Guyana Learning Channel which is broadcasted on Channel 10.
Press Secretary to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo Imran Khan told the media that while the NCN will continue broadcast of its national feed on Channel 8, it has already expressed interest in relinquishing rights to Channel 13.
Also expected Khan stated, is a name-change and the incorporation of staff under the new regional station. He said it is hoped the staff will not be adversely affected, but will continue with their roles under the new administration. The NCN’s Linden branch currently employs producers, cameramen, transmission operators, editors, among other staff.
“NCN’s Linden operation will not continue alongside Linden TV. The intention is for the Linden NCN operation to be transferred. How that is done is to be decided. It will not discontinue… the staff will still be required to work… they will have to have re-negotiated employment contracts with the new managers. It will no longer be NCN Linden…”, Khan stated.
He added: “The intention is very clear with regard to NCN Linden: that is, NCN will continue to broadcast its national feed on Channel 8, which is currently the case, and NCN Board has already written to the GNBA indicating relinquishing their interests and rights in Channel 13 which is the channel that will be allocated, based on advice from the National Frequency Management Unit. All of this has already taken place, which will be allocated to the Linden community. “
Asked about the allocation of technical equipment, including a dish which was assigned years ago by Green Construction, Khan only stated that there was passing discussion about the equipment at a stakeholders meeting on Monday, adding that while there were suggestions, no specific detail was outlined nor no decision taken regarding what will happen with those equipment.
“…but historically we know that there’s an issue of Green Construction having given equipment to the Linden community and that equipment having gone into the hands of NCN and some of that equipment apparently still in the hands of NCN, but no decision was taken at this meeting today with regard to that equipment and how it would be transferred”, he said.
Meanwhile Regional Chairman Renis Morian following a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister in the community last Monday said the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) will seek to have elected members of the Council sit on a Board of Trustees which was initiated by former Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon in setting up the station for the Region.
“Based on his (Prime Minister) recommendation and looking at the document, the licence will not be issued. It was suggested that the licence to operate commence today at this meeting, but based on the new truths that has emerged, the RDC who is the legal representation of the people, will champion the cause of going forward. We want the people of Region 10 to have this television station, hence they voted or elected persons from the RDC, the Council and the Kwakwani NDC should be part of this”, he said.
Morian added that after reviewing the necessary documents, a core group will analyse those documents and come up with suggestions on moving forward. There was some worry that elected members of the people were not sitting on the Trust. Morian said while there were suggestions to remove persons of the already existing Trust, the administration will not move in that direction. However, he said the possibility of expanding and including members of the RDC as well as the business community will be sought after.
“It’s a done deal in the sense that the station would be handed back to the people of Region 10 via their elected representatives… so whether the Chairman come or go at the RDC it means that the entity remains an entity of the people,” he said.