Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon has indicated willingness on the part of the region’s administration to apply to the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) to operate the region’s television station.
The indication comes after statements by GNBA Chairman Bibi Shadick and Governance Advisor Gail Teixeira that the application was never submitted. Solomon has said that the application was submitted to Cabinet Secretary Roger Luncheon, who promised the region that he would pass the documents to the GNBA. Shadick though, has said that the relevant laws demand that the application be submitted to GNBA, and pointed out that Luncheon is not an officer of the authority.
Solomon though, believes that handing the application to Luncheon should not be an issue since it was government which agreed to facilitate the process through which the region would attain its licence.
He has, however, said that if Luncheon did not honour the promise he made to the Region No.10 Regional Democratic Council (RDC)) he will “go the other route.”
Meanwhile, Solomon has voiced concerns to this newspaper that the channel 13 frequency, which he said government promised the region in the August 2012 agreement, is still being utilized by an entity other than the Region 10 administration. Stabroek News was informed that the frequency was promised along with the transmitter and dish.
There are also unresolved issues concerning the handing over of the dish and transmitter. Teixeira told this newspaper last week that both pieces of equipment were handed over to the region by way of a letter from Luncheon to Solomon.
Solomon on the other hand says that to date “the region received absolutely nothing…they never (officially) handed over the dish, (the transmitter) or the site.”
When asked about the matter, Teixeira maintained that the region had not only received a letter from Luncheon, but when asked during a meeting in either November or December 2012 if they had received the transmitter and dish they responded in the affirmative. Solomon, Teixeira posited, is playing on technicalities.
Nevertheless, the region has moved to possess the dish and the site alluded to as per the verbal agreement.
The transmitter however, is still outstanding, Solomon explained.
As a consequence the region sourced funds and purchased its own transmitter. Solomon views the non-official handing over of the equipment as an indication that “(government) had absolutely no intention of handing (the items) over.”
Teixeira though, maintains that the transmitter, which she says is sitting on land in Richmond Hill, Watooka, Linden, was handed over. She said that the transmitter in particular had to be handed over by way of a letter because it weighs “tons” and cannot be physically handed over.
Both the transmitter and dish once belonged to Green Construction and Mining Company, and even after the building that housed the company burned while being used by the National Communications Network (NCN) during the 90’s, Teixeira says the transmitter remains on the grounds.
She said that former PNCR MP Aubrey Norton had made a request to government to allow the region to use the land surrounding the transmitter, and that he was supposed to provide government with the parameters of the land the region is desirous of using.
However, she continued, this was never done. Teixeira said that the land just could not be handed over since it is the property of DISCO Trading Limited, which has produced documents proving ownership.
When contacted yesterday though, Norton argued that the land already belongs to Region No.10 since it was handed over by Green Construction and Mining Company.
Additionally, Solomon says that the location alluded to by Teixeira is the same location where the dish sits, and that the land is under development to house the television station. The RC says he is yet to locate the transmitter on the premises.