“Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited made consecutive losses from 2010 to 2015 according to the company’s audited reports tabled in parliament.
However Chief Executive Officer of FBC, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they now envisage no more losses for FBC as the money given by the government for public service broadcast for radio and television is now going into their accounts as a fee and not a grant.
According to the annual reports, FBC made a loss of $516,943 in the year 2010, a loss of $1.137 million in the year 2011, a loss of $7.103 million in the year 2012, a loss of $5.602 million in the year 2013, a loss of $3.924 million in the year 2014 and a loss of $3.361 million in the year 2015.
According to the reports, FBC was getting annual public service broadcast grants of $2.9 million to run Radio Fiji One, Radio Fiji Two and FBC TV public service broadcast programmes.
The public service broadcast grant from government to FBC was increased to $11 million in the 2017/2018 National Budget.
This is now being inputted in FBC’s financial books as public service broadcast fees.
The reports also reveal that FBC is paying it’s loan with the Fiji Development Bank at variable interest rates.
As at 2015, the loan payable amount for FDB stood at $17.581 million.
Interest rates ranged from 12% to 5.5% between the years 2010 to 2015.
The loan has a government guarantee of $21.594 million.
The 2015 annual report also revealed that FBC was in advanced discussions with the Fiji National Provident Fund in regards to the refinancing of the loan held with the FDB.
The report states that an offer was received from FNPF which had been accepted by FBC’s board of directors and signoff was expected in April 2016.
We asked FBC’s CEO, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum what the future holds for FBC knowing that it recorded consecutive losses from 2010 to 2015 after getting the public service broadcast grants from the government every year.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the public service grant should have always been recorded as a fee.”