He made the announcement as he named the new Board of Directors for the National Communications Network (NCN) and the Guyana National Newspaper Limited (GNNL) which owns the Guyana Chronicle newspaper.
The board members were presented with their instruments of appointments at a simple ceremony today, at the Archer Chung Convention Centre (ACCC).
The board members are as follows:
- Bishwa Panday (Chairman)
- Mark Archer
- Dr. Paloma Mohamed
- Margret Lawerence
- Kojo McPherson
- Dhanwanti Sukhdeo
- Carolyn Walcott
- Imran khan
- Colin Thompson
- Jean LaRose (Chair)
Scherazade Isoof –Khan
The Prime Minister reminded the members of the board that they are now the representatives of the shareholders, which is the state of Guyana represented by the Government of Guyana.
He alluded to that fact that Imran Khan, Director of Public Information appears on both boards. The Prime Minister explained Khan will represent him and the interest of the Government. He also emphasised that the NCN and GNNL are both owned by the “state.” They are incorporated under the law and the Company Act provides for the appointment of a Board of Directors. The board will decide on policy issues and will engage management on the efficient operation of these entities.
The Chronicle Newspapers, which is the primary source of income of the GNNL has been one of the most abused newspapers according to the Prime Minister, “reducing it to the state of a political rag expressing only the views of a particular political party”.
Therefore, he pointed out that, there is a credibility issues that the members of the boards will have to confront. The board was urged to guide the managers of the newspapers on issues and policies that make the newspaper “national, inclusive and acceptable, one that has wholesome information, entertainment, sports and cultural bits and pieces that may satisfy the needs of Guyana”.
He also highlighted the discomfort that workers face when it rains and urged the board to look at bettering the working conditions of the workers. The board was advised to investigate whether employees have been paid dividends. The Prime Minister also announced his office has engaged a funding agency which is willing to assist in constructing a new building for the Guyana Chronicle.
With regards to the NCN, Prime Minister Nagamootoo said that this “highly indebted company” has fallen in some hard times. However, notwithstanding dissimulate circumstances, Prime Minister Nagamootoo noted that this television station has tremendous potential, and called on the board members to harness this and recover several hundreds of millions of dollars that is owed to the company. “We need, I need you, Guyana needs you, and President David Granger needs you to lift the NCN, to ensure that they have reach, to ensure that they have programmes that reflect the realities in Guyana. The aim will be to take radio to the North West, the Rupununi and as far as the Pakaraimas.
Meanwhile, the new NCN Chairman said that the company will not be doing business with anyone who has outstanding monies for it. He believes that both boards have capable persons who have the ability to turn the state media around.