KAMPALA – Galaxy FM’s CEO Dr Innocent Nahabwe who happens to be the Deputy Chairperson of National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has said that running a media house in this crisis is very challenging since the business involves a lot of movements which is currently restricted.
Dr Nahabwe made the revelations in an intervie with NBS TV on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Dr Nahabwe revealed that most media houses are forced to keep a few employees as they can not afford catering for a big number.
“People who work late have to sleep at the office or be dropped late in the night. Advertising is down and alot of things are changing,” he said.
He said that currently, the priority is on the fight against COVID-19, however, he asked government to support media houses because they are pivotal in the fight against the virus.
“As it is now, many newspapers have closed. Some radio stations are simply playing music,” said Nahabwe.
He added that, “We have engaged the government through the ministry of ICT to help us. We have asked the government to pay up on their arrears to media houses that amount to over 4 billion shillings.”
Dr Nahabwe further noted that once media houses close, space for fake news shall be created which will be a very big problem in fighting against COVID-19.
In an April 3, 2020, letter, Mr Kin Kariisa, the NAB chairperson noted that media houses need the government’s urgent financial support.
He proposed that government should pay outstanding debts.
“Media houses are among the major creditors of the government. Government should pay domestic arrears owing to media houses immediately to enable them cope with the rising cost of running their businesses at a minimum of profit. The government owes media houses up to Shillings 13 billion accruing from as far back as 2018.” He noted
Kariisa also asked URA to waive taxes on media houses.
“Each media house can submit monitoring logs to prove the value each media house runs during the lockdown period. URA should also Zero rate VAT for media houses till 1st July 2020.” He said
Kariisa noted that UCC should defer, reduce or waive License fees. The same should apply to UBC carriage fees.
He also added that Government should pay cash for ads that media houses are running during the coronavirus.
“The government should buy space, airtime and reach-out on print, broadcast and online media respectively, to a tune of Shs15 billion per month for the next 3 months,” he said.