By Neville Choi – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Public Enterprise and State Investments Minister, Ben Micah, has announced that the National Executive Council had approved the 100 per cent buyout of Media Niugini Limited, by Telikom PNG.
Media Niugini Limited joins FM100 as the two media broadcasting companies now wholly owned by the state owned entity.
Minister Micah said the National Executive Council had met on December 8, and given its approval for Telikom PNG to go ahead with the acquisition.
“On the 8th of December, the National Executive Council approved for a one hundred per cent takeover of Media Niugini Limited, by our state-owned telecom company, Telikom PNG.
“Media Niugini Limited, as you all know, is a hundred percent subsidiary of Fiji TV, and it has been operating in Papua New Guinea for a very long time, it has a very large viewer base population right throughout the country, and therefore, this acquisition is a very strategic move by Telikom PNG, and also by the government, to be able to utilise this vast television media network to broaden many of the issues that government is promoting throughout the country, and we are very pleased to support Telikom in this acquisition, and we are pleased that at least now, the people of PNG, through Telikom, can own this very large media network,” Micah said.
According to Micah, this latest acquisition is just another step in the national government’s plans to strengthen its State Owned Agencies against commercial threats in the private media and communications sector.
“This acquisition will now lead to a streamlining of state ownership, and control and management of its media organisations like Kundu TV, EMTV, FM100, NBC.
“These media organisations cannot be effective if they try compete against themselves. This move will now move to relook at how we can consolidate the state’s media organisations and networks, into one state owned media organisations,” he said.
With the announcement of the acquisition, came a reassurance from Minister Micah, that there would be no political interference in the core news business of Media Niugini Limited’s EMTV National News.
“Telikom PNG Limited is completely independently operating from political influence. It is operating under the administrative and management control of Kumul Consolidated Holdings, and they only report to me as the minister responsible, on matters that need to be brought before cabinet, or policy issues that need to be discussed. Otherwise, the operations, and the control is left entirely to boards we have appointed to run and manage these companies. EMTV coming into Telikom, will very much be the same. They will continue to operate as an independent news broadcasting company through television, and I believe the broadening of the asset infrastructure of towers between bmobile, Telikom and NBC will enable the coverage to be much more exposed to a larger population, than what it is, under EMTV, as a privately run company,” Micah said.
Telikom PNG CEO confirms acquisition