THE panel set up by Ondo State governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) to look into the problems facing government media outfits in the state, especially Ondo State Radio-vision Corporations (OSRC), has shunned the summon by the state Assembly.
The Chairman of the panel, Mr. Kunle Adebayo, whose assignment was to submit report to the state government within two months, was conspicuously absent at the plenary session of the House yesterday.
The Chairman of the OSRC Chapel, Mr. Sola Obagbemisoye, decried the highhandness of the panel, whom he said renege on its promise to only shut down the station for only two weeks.
“For over two months now, the station has been shut down and the workers are left stranded, without any hope of reopening in sight. The panel said it would only shut down the station for two weeks and thereafter start operations.”
Obagbemisoye lamented that the action would further deteriorate the bad condition of the corporation, which he hinged on poor management and corruption by past administration.
The Chairman of Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU), Mr. Folorunsho Ojo,
said several committees had been set up in the past to raise an alarm over the corruption but to no avail.
Ojo, who mentioned that the closure has adverse effects on government activities, disclosed that the radio and television stations used to operate between five and eight hours daily, which is against the 18hrs operation stipulated by National Broadcasting Commission.
According to them, the OSRC management expended N30m on the 120,000 litres of petrol annually but collected N65m from the government.
“Records have shown that the 27KVA generator at the DG official residence consumed 900 litres per month for 8 years. While DG confessed before panel that the generator consumed only 60 litres in a month.
“The immediate past management allegedly purchased 10HD cameras at the cost of N2.1m per unit amounting to N21m. Consequent upon investigations, it was discovered that the management actually purchased four instead of 10 as claimed to have been purchased by management, while the actual market price was N370, 000.
“The monthly allocation of huge sum of money for the servicing transmitters is also questionable. Equally, the monthly spending of over N500, 000 on the newly purchased 810 KVA generator for servicing as claimed by the management is also questionable.
“DG spent over N8 million in Blissworld. In spite of his N850, 000 official residence annually at Ijapo Estate Akure under batter arrangement,” they said.
The state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. James Sowole, stressed that the rot in the system was enormous and against the standard of NBC.
Sowole urged the panel to jettison mass sack of workers as speculated in some quarters, saying it would not augur well with the corporation and state at large due to the extant economic recession.
The Speaker, Bamidele Oloyelogun, however, noted that the panel chairman, Adebayo, gave an excuse for being absent at the plenary session due to other engagement with Governor Akeredolu in Abuja.
“We want to know the reason why the place is being shut for the last two months. It is wrong. If you are a chairman of a panel to look into activities of an organisation, it is not the best for you to some them working or to shut the place down.
“It is wrong, and in the House of Assembly, we condemn this. The OSRC members they are here this morning, they are with us, we deliberated a lot, they have given us all the problem, they let us know all the problems they have.
“We are looking into it, before Wednesday, we must have taken some vital decisions, because we are meeting now, we honourables we are meeting now after this meeting,” the Speaker said.