The government has committed to clear pending bills to Kenyan media houses for advertising fees amounting to Ksh1.5 Billion.
Through the Government Advertising Agency (GAA), the state has been pushing campaigns for various initiatives on TV including Citizen TV, NTV, KTN and KBC and in newspapers (Nation, The Standard and People Daily).
ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng’ stated that the GAA had met with the Media Owners Association (MOA) and resolved to clear the bills amounting to billions.
ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng’ (left) during a previous press briefing
“We are aware that such pending bills are some of the key challenges facing media houses especially with the constricted revenue flow as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” he stated.
Media houses had lamented over the pending bills stating that they had weighed down on the station’s operations and created a frustrating business environment.
The government in 2019, started to offset the outstanding Ksh2.5 billion debt owed to various broadcasters and publishers. The current debt stands at Ksh1.5 billion.
At the time, ICT CS Joe Mucheru revealed that President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the national and county governments to ensure that they paid all the pending bills including to the media houses.
“The aim of the agency was to strengthen and develop the advertising industry and I believe the media owners that we have spoken to have understood and are now working with us to ensure that we are doing it in the right way,” Mucheru explained.
The CS explained that Government Advertising Agency (GAA) would continue to advertise and invest in the media industry by ensuring they streamlined government advertising.
Mucheru further challenged media houses to understand what the advertisers want and give them solutions that address the market niche.
“This industry is driven by advertising and the media houses should realise that the government’s aim is to communicate to its people and not to necessarily advertise. We have many forms we can communicate through.
“The government is currently undertaking the big 4 agenda, if we want to get information to expectant mothers how do we reach them so that they can understand the services that are available to them, that kind of advertising is very critical,” explained the CS.
Information and Communication Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru during a past event