Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku
By Adebiyi Adedapo
The Federal Government Monday appealed to Nigerians over its inability to broadcast live matches from the African Nations Cup in South Africa.
Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku explained that the country was unable to broadcast because of the highly exploitative price tag placed on the broadcast rights.
Maku offered this explanation at Osemotor, Imo State during project inspections as part of the National Good Governance Tour.
The minister said it was necessary for Nigeria to call their bluff because they were not willing to bring down the price despite efforts by the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).
He also explained that BON advised government not to intervene, or use public funds to pay any agent because it was not good to our country and the agent had not treated the nation fairly.
"All efforts made by BON through the agent LC2 did not work. You can imagine that from 8 million Euro they came to 6 million then 4.5 million Euro; so you can see that it is not a scientific charge, it is a kind of casino pricing," he said.
Maku added that "BON decided that this year Nigeria should call the bluff of this agent and maybe next time the Confederation of African Football (CAF), will be more sensitive when it comes to hiring of agents to vent the broadcasting rights of the African Nations Cup."
He however stated that Nigeria will no longer tolerate agents who have turned the country into a cash cow, adding that the government would make better broadcast arrangement for future tournaments.
"Nigeria cannot be a cash cow for every agent to come and exploit. We have to call the bluff of people that want to abuse our generosity. We are making this collective sacrifice for a better future. We will work with BON to agree on a new formula for this price and we will want to see that what we pay should not be different from any other African country," he said.