By WATSON GABANA
PANGTEL CEO, Charles Punaha officially handed over the FM radio station broadcast license to the Minister for Communications, Patrick Tamur at the March Girls Resort outside Port Moresby on Friday.
This paved the way for National Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) Central to broadcast through the first direct satellite service donated by the Australian Government.
"Central is the last province to switch to FM band, but you are the first to have the direct satellite service," Joseph Ealedona, NBC Managing Director told the gathering.
He said that NBC will soon do away with its short and medium wave (S/MW) replacing them with the crystal clear FM bands.
The Minister for Communications, Patrick Tammur challenged the Central Provincial Government to take ownership of the NBC FM station in funding and supporting its operations.
He said that radio plays vital role in informing, educating and entertaining the majority of the people and thus need provincial government support.
"Radio still is the most effective means of communication, reaching majority of the people in this country, regardless of our geographic settings," Minister Tammur said.
The minister said that the NBC rehabilitation programs were a government initiative since 2008 and wishes to upgrade and renovate all its existing provincial stations in the country.
"I challenge the board to take NBC to the next level. You should tap into the regional challenges," Tammur said.
He said the National Government in its 2009 allocated K21 million and asked the NBC board to continue its work in rolling out the television program launched in 2008.
The launching coincided with the NBC board meeting which was also held at March Girls Resort where its 2010/2015 corporate plan was discussed.
NBC board chairman, Paul Reptario said that the organization was tasked to establish a nationally own television station and to improve the 20 radio stations in the country.
"A corporate reform program is being established. Twenty FM transmission stations launched and a TV station established," Mr. Reptario said.
The Central Provincial government committed K50,000 to maintain and up-grade communication networks for the Central FM station. The provincial government also pledge annual assistance.
Meanwhile, Minister Tammur and minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Paul Tiensten pledged jointly build 100 houses for their staff.
Minister Tiensten officiated at the ground breaking ceremony in Port Moresby on Thursday. He said that 100 houses would be constructed at 5-mile and 6-mile areas of Port Moresby.