The Senate on Monday queried the management of the Nigerian Television Authority (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.
StarTimes offers digital terrestrial television and satellite television services to consumers, provides technologies to countries and broadcasters that are switching from analogue to digital television.
The Chairman, Senate Joint committee on Finance and National Planning, Solomon Adeola, gave the query when the Director-General of the NTA, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed appeared before the committee during a public hearing in Abuja.
Mr 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,” he said.
The NTA DG, Mr Mohammed responded: “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 DG.
” In fact, on my assumption of office as DG, 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,” he said.
Consequently, the DG was ordered to appear before the committee again on Tuesday along with the Managing Director of NTA TV Enterprises, Maxwell Loko, who is supervising the joint venture with StarTimes.