NTA-StarTimes: No missing N200b

By Lucas Ajanaku

 

NTA-Star TV Network Ltd, a joint venture (JV) between the Nigerian Television Authority and the StarTimes Group, yesterday said no revenue was missing as its gross earnings have been repeatedly ploughed back into production.

It said the production  covers cost of components, which include transmitters, generating sets and satellite; content acquisition; as well as operating costs, which include salaries and other running costs, incurred within our ten years of operation.

It, therefore, said it welcomed the forensic audit on its finances and operations, as requested by the Senate’s Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning.

It said the JV is a responsible corporate organisation, which business activities conform to statutory laws and regulations, adding that its accounts are audited by one of the big four audit firms in the world, widely known for their integrity and professionalism in the audit field. “Aside our statutory audits being carried out by external auditors, our financial activities are fully audited by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

“The loss in our operations over the years is as a result of the fact that our huge upfront investment is in U.S. dollars, and the long-term cost recovery has met brick-walls with successive years of naira depreciation. Pay-TV business is capital intensive and has a long gestation period. More than 80 per cent of inputs into our operations are dollar-denominated. The naira fluctuations haven’t been favourable to the business, making it more and more difficult to meet dollar-denominated obligations,” it said.

“We however regret the outcome of the Senate hearing, especially as it amounts to a media trial without proper due diligence.

“To this end, we are open to a proper investigation into our operations and financials, especially as we believe the company is run in a prudent, responsible and sustainable manner.

“With the support and trust of the public and business partners, StarTimes operating environment is fast improving, performance is rising, and our losses have been decreasing.

“We believe that as a going concern, we will eventually achieve profitability shortly and make greater contributions to society,” it said in a statement.

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