NCN Berbice being assessed by Public Affairs Minister, as State Media evaluations continue

—installation of new Board to help sort issues

—new location mulled

The National Communications Network (NCN) sub-agency in New Amsterdam, Berbice, received a visit on Wednesday from Minister of Public Affairs, within the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Kwame McCoy.

The visit, which would be his first to the branch, officially as Minister, was prompted as he continues to examine several broadcasting entities under the purview of the State.

NCN Berbice Manager, Donna Mathoo, told Minister McCoy that the sub-agency is in desperate need of an upgrade. She explained that the equipment used by staff is completely outdated and lacks regular service.

The branch is currently housed in the compound of the New Amsterdam Technical Institute (NATI). Mathoo said upon starting work in the agency in 2015, she encountered serious issues in terms of flooding at the location, which oftentimes leaves an unpleasant scent.

“We tried to get another location so that we can move most of it; studio, radio. We were going to go really big,” Mathoo said, in hopes that this can now be realized through the Minister’s visit.

Adding to this was the issue of a shortage of staff resulting in additional stress on NCN Berbice. Transmission Operator, Sohan Mattadeen, informed the Minister that for the past two years he has had to step out of his description, to take on Marketing for the company, as well as other roles.

Also, he said that the challenges outlined were in accordance with those faced by some of the other State agencies. He added that NCN is currently without a Board and progress is being made for the installation of a new Board, to deal with issues of the company.

“There was a lot, I heard from the staff and indeed just like we have been experiencing at the various agencies,” the Minister said.

“There are serious issues here. We have to work to resolve them. I’m hoping very soon that we will have a Board that will be able to look at these matters, outline a way forward for the company; how they can be able to be more creative in bringing in revenue and how we can be able to utilise our resources in the best way possible.”

In the meantime, a short-term solution, in relation to the lack of equipment was identified during the Minister’s visit.

“There are very little simple things that can be addressed…One solution so far is that they have computers sitting at the office in NCN Georgetown, that just a minor repair to that computer, could help them resolve an issue here [in Berbice],” Minister McCoy stated.

In response to a proposal for relocation, Minister McCoy visited the proposed location, which is owned by the Region. He noted that the building required dire work and a decision would be made on the way forward.