Edo Denies Plan to Sell State Owned Media Houses

The Edo State Government has refuted reports that it plans to sell the State owned Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) and the Nigerian Observer Newspapers.
State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Osa Nehikhare, alleged that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has concluded plans to fraudulently sell the media houses.
But the media aide to Governor Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie, in a statement tagged “No plan to sell Edo Broadcasting Service, Observer to individual,” described the PDP’s allegation as “falsehood being peddled” by the PDP and a figment of their imagination.
The statement said; “There is no plan to sell the state-owned radio and television station, Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) and the Nigerian Observer Newspaper to an individual…There is no plan, whether now or in the future to sell government enterprises to any individual.
“Recall that Governor Obaseki paid unscheduled visits to the two media houses last year and was appalled by what he saw at the media houses; outdated equipment and a disenchanted workforce.
“The stories of the visits were widely reported in the media and the Governor has vowed to reposition the media houses for optimal performance and to play a major role in the educational sector. He (Obaseki), will not sell assets owned by the good and loving people of Edo State to any individual.”
Nehikhare, in the PDP’s statement titled “We say no to alleged planned illegal sale of Edo State assets,” had alleged that Obaseki procured the services of four media executives sometime ago to produce a report to justify the sale, or concession of two public enterprises Bendel Newspapers Ltd, and Edo Broadcasting Service.
He went further to alleged that the media executives produced a report to suit the pre-arranged position of Governor Obaseki and his business interest.
“Presently, the Governor has allegedly selected a preferred “investor” who happened to be the consultant to his campaign organisation. The said investor is Dr. Henry Nzekwu. He manages a small radio station in Delta state and has great difficulty breaking even.
“The plan is to quietly divest Edo state interest from both companies, hand them over to Dr Nzekwu, who is acting as a front, as a trade off for the role Dr Nzekwu played during his campaign.
“This format is similar to the one Ex Governor Oshiomhole used in selecting Afri-Invest as the preferred Partner for Edo University Iyamoh.
“In Iyamho (Edo University), Afri-Invest was used as a “holding” company before Adams Oshiomhole can assume control. Dr Nzekwu in this case is playing a similar role for Governor Obaseki.
“This is exactly what the Governor is doing to Edoline where her assets are been striped and converted to personal properties. We call on the state government to stop the illegal sale and acquisitions of government assets and properties.
“We implore them to put in place a well motivated management team, invest just 50% of 3 months of the illegally collected security votes (N600m) and EDSG will achieve a world class media company,” the PDP alleged.

Author: News Editor

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