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No N200b missing in NTA-StarTimes — Official

The management of NTA-Star TV Network Ltd. says no N200 billion revenue is missing from its finances in the course of its operations.

The company disclosed this in a statement issued by Mr Lazarus Ibeabuchi, its Public Relations Manager, in Abuja on Thursday.

NTA-Star TV Network Ltd. is a joint venture between the Nigerian Television Authority and the StarTimes Group.

He said that the company welcomed the forensic audit on its finances and operations as requested by the Senate’s Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning.

“We also want to clarify that no revenue of N200 billion is missing as gross earnings have been repeatedly ploughed back into cost of production to cover cost of components.

“The components are transmitters, equipment, generating sets and satellite, content acquisition, as well as operating costs, which include salaries and other running costs, incurred within our 10 years of operation.

“NTA-Star TV Network Limited is a responsible corporate organisation with our business activities conforming to statutory laws and regulations.

“Our accounts are audited by one of the big four audit firms in the world, widely known for its integrity and professionalism in the audit field.

“Aside our statutory audits being carried out by external auditors, our financial activities are fully audited by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),” he said.

He further noted that the loss in operations over the years was because its huge upfront investment was in U.S. dollars and the long-term cost recovery had met brick-walls with successive years of naira depreciation.

He noted that Pay-TV business was capital intensive and had a long gestation period.

“More than 80 per cent of inputs into our operations are dollar-denominated.

“The naira fluctuations haven’t been favourable to the business, making it more and more difficult to meet dollar-denominated obligations.

“We, however, regret the outcome of the Senate hearing, especially as it amounts to a media trial without proper due diligence.

“To this end, we are open to a proper investigation into our operations and financials, especially as we believe the company is run in a prudent, responsible and sustainable manner.

“With the support and trust of the public and business partners, StarTimes operating environment is fast improving, performance is rising, and our losses have been decreasing.

“We believe that as a going concern, we will eventually achieve profitability shortly and make greater contributions to society,” he added.

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