The StarTimes and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) venture has yielded no returns for the nation after 11 years of operation.
This was disclosed by the Director-General, NTA, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed while he was questioned by the Senate Joint committee on Finance and National Planning on Monday.
The Senate queried the management of NTA over what it called 11 years non-profitable venture with StarTimes.
StarTimes is a Chinese electronics and media company with a strong presence in Africa. It offers digital terrestrial television and satellite television services to consumers, provides technologies to countries and broadcasters that are switching from analog to digital television.
Chairman, Senate Joint committee on Finance and National Planning, Senator Solomon Adeola, asked, “Mr DG are you telling this committee that for solid 11 years, the joint venture agreement NTA had with StarTimes has not yielded any profit despite using your facilities for over one million subscribers.
“This is completely unfair to Nigeria. Something is cooking. You must come with the MD of your subsidiary unit overseeing the contractual and operational agreement.”
Not a single kobo was made in 11 years
The NTA boss, said, “As an Executive Director in 2009 in NTA, not a single kobo was made from the joint venture with StarTimes, the same situation I met in 2016 when I returned as D-G.
”In fact, on assumption of office as D-G, that was the first question I asked, upon which records of non- profitability was presented by the NTA subsidiary outfit running it. The non- profitability status of the venture remains till today.”
Consequently, to dig further, the DG was ordered to appear before the committee again on Tuesday along with the Managing Director of NTA TV Enterprises, Maxwell Loko, supervising the joint venture with StarTimes.