6 Jun 2007

Privatising Samoa public broadcaster will lift standards, says government

7:30 pm on 6 June 2007

Samoa's government says privatising the the publicly funded broadcaster SBC will raise broadcasting standards in the country.

In its new budget statement, the government announced the privatisation of SBC TV and radio is to take place in the first half of the new financial year 2007/2008.

The Minister for Communications, Safuneituuga Neri, says plans have been ongoing for SBC's privatisation for years and now the neccessary framework is in place for it to begin.

She says that the government feels it is best that it plays just the role of regulator while the private sector provide the services.

"Well we believe that when SBC is privatised, they will be part of the competition that is going on, with other broadcasting companies. And I think when there is competition, there will be a lift in the services that they will be providing."

Safuneituuga says the Ministry of Finance will evaluate all SBC assets before any final recommendations are made to cabinet regarding the sale price.