The last seems not to have been heard about the controversial statement that emanated from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on the Digital Switch Over as the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Modibbo Kawu opened up for the first time.
Interestingly, Kawu said he turned down a license renewal fee of N2billion from a foreign television company because of the commission’s resolve to engage a competent Nigerian company to undertake the digital switchover project. He said this Thursday in his office while speaking with news men.
Kawu, a former Editor of Daily Trust Newspapers, among other credible platforms, said that the N2billion came at a time the commission was in dire straits financially but that since it has committed itself to local content production, he rejected the money. Kawu stressed that the entire controversy was a “storm in a tea cup” which should not ordinarily become an issue.
He noted further that a press release from an anti-graft agency that sparked off the entire matter was regrettable. He said, “First they even spelt our outfit as “Nigeria Broadcasting Commission” while, in fact, the N in NBC stands for “National”. I feel ashamed that this came out of the press unit of this agency. As a journalist myself, I feel terrible that such an error could go through the process unchecked. The other curious aspect of the statement is the issue of telephony which their letter talked about. NBC doesn’t have anything to do with telephony. That’s for NCC. So it is either there is confusion or a misunderstanding. I think this matter should be probed by the Federal Government.”
He added that investigating bodies must ensure that they are not being used or misinformed. He said the work being done by Pinnacle Communications is one of the best in the history of digital broadcasting in Nigeria, adding that it could easily be one of the best achievements of the Buhari regime.
According to Kawu, he, as a practitioner, he should know the best equipment in the industry having worked for decades in the sector; he was General Manager of Kwara Radio and Television for many years.
On the controversy surrounding the mode of payment, Kawu, reading from the project federal government white paper, said there was no fraud anywhere since payments are channeled through the Ministry of Information.