Press release: State Minister for ICT and National Guidance Peter Ogwang has today, Friday, 9th, April, 2021 toured major UBC properties in Kampala.
Ogwang visited UBC transmission sites in Naguru Hill, Kololo Summit View and Bugolobi. During his site visits, Minister Ogwang noted that whereas UBC has a huge investment potential, it is partly being stifled by unending land wrangles over ownership and low investment. A cross the country, UBC owns about 50 properties most of which remain undeveloped.
“There is a big challenge of land ownership in most of UBC properties amidst other challenges and I want to pledge that I will come up with a cabinet paper to specifically address issues of the national broadcaster,” Ogwang said.
At the UBC transmission site in Naguru, Uganda Land Commission (ULC) in 2004 controversially leased nearly 2hectares of land to UNIGROUP yet the lease has never been registered on the UBC land title. The matter is currently in court. At UBC transmission site that sits on 6acres of land in Kololo, UBC is in land conflict with Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) another government entity.
Ogwang sounded a stern warning to people who want to steal part of UBC properties in Kampala and other parts of the country, saying the long arm of the law will not spare them.
“If you have been stealing government property especially UBC land, we are coming for you in full force. It is important that we protect these properties so that even the next governments find it intact,” Ogwang said.
In his statement, Ogwang called for need to invest in UBC to cope up with the new evolving technologies.
“UBC has a lot of properties and some of which is redundant, so we need to see how to develop this property in a way which can generate money for self-sustainability like other countries are doing. BBC is owned by the British government which has massively invested in it. The same applies to South Africa Broadcasting Corporation,” he said.
On Thursday, Parliament adopted a motion for government to decentralize UBC Radio Butebo FM. Ogwang said that whereas it is a good idea to decentralize most of UBC radio stations, it is imperative that government first invests in structural development and equipment revamp.
“Whereas we are planning to decentralize most of UBC radio stations, we must also plan to invest accordingly because you can’t decentralize when you even don’t have money to run the stations. Some of the UBC stations are really dilapidated and need a serious revamp. So we first need to put up better structures, equipment then decentralize,” Ogwang said.
Ogwang pledged to cause a meeting with other agencies under the Ministry of ICT such as UCC and NITA-U to support UBC and solve challenges of the fibre among others. UBC Managing Director, Winston Agaba who accompanied the minister during the field visits, thanked the minister for the visit and asked government to continue investing in the national broadcaster.
“We are very optimistic that government is keenly looking at the national broadcaster and the time is now to invest in communication to make sure that we have an informed population,” Agaba said.
UBC runs 11 radios stations, 4 TV channels and over 30 sites around the country.