DG of NBC, Emeka Mba is ‘being punished for being innovative… no money is missing’

On Monday, January 11, the Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, Emeka Mba was arrested by the Economic and Financial Commission and remanded at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

The DG of NBC was arrested over an alleged N15 billion fraud within the commission.

According to a statement released by Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, the Vice Chairman Association of Cable Satellite TV Operators of Nigeria (ACON), the allegations leveled against Mba are fictitious and at best concocted by persons unknown who are hell bent on smearing his name.

Sir Ohuabunwa stated that Mba’s only crime is doing the right thing and making decisions that will take the broadcasting sector in the country to greater heights, which some elements are not happy with.

He went ahead to give details of the activities of the arrested Mba, while stating that there was absolutely no missing money from the NBC as opposed to the malicious claims that got Mba arrested by the EFCC.

He gave a list of things to note from the activities of Mba.

“Thirteen (13) Set Top Box Manufacturers met the requirements and were selected based on their stated and proven capabilities over a very rigorous process, which lasted for 8 Months – 12 Months. This was not done in isolation but in a very transparent way and within the ambit of the laws governing the NBC.”

“Let it be known that there is absolutely NO money missing. The manufacturers insisted on the guarantee and so an off-taker agreement was signed, with the money lodged in a bank and used to collaterise same.”

“The STB Manufacturers have committed over N10Billion Naira already into the process, importing parts for the manufacturing process and setting up facilities in Nigeria. Meaning that there are thousands of jobs already being lined up from this.”

“Up to 66 Frequencies will be freed up and each Frequency will be sold for at least $100M (USD). Which translates to great revenue in the trillion Naira range to the Government.

Government Policy committed to a subsidy for the STB Manufacturers and that is what NBC paid out. These arrangement and agreements had been in place before TSA directive was given.”

“Everything and all amount left over from MTN Lease fees was transferred to TSA Accounts accordingly. Nothing was hidden in the process. All funds declared, approvals sought and received, as should be.”

“The model adopted by the NBC under Emeka Mba, has been universally hailed and recommended by the CTU (Commonwealth Telecomms Union) as a model to be adopted by other African And Commonwealth Countries as the model to adopt in overcoming their DSO challenges.”

He further warned that if the detractors are allowed to succeed in derailing the structures Mba already put in place, it would spell doom for the NBC at large.

He stated that at a time when a lot of young people are suffering under the weight of unemployment, there will be a huge loss of jobs if Mba’s program is derailed, as there are plans to start manufacturing set top boxes in Nigeria.

It would subsequently lead to a loss in economic growth and most of all regressing the digital process, thus making Nigeria miss the digital switch-over train.

He also said it would send an unmistakable signal that being creative and innovative in finding solutions to the nation’s problems is a crime and will be punished.

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