Sacked FBC chief ‘earning more than PM’, says new broadcaster chair

FBC chair Ajay Bhai Amrit (left) and terminated chief executive Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
FBC chair Ajay Bhai Amrit (left) and terminated chief executive Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum . . . FBC board "shocked" over salary. Image: Fiji Times composite file photo APR

By Wata Shaw in Suva

Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s employment status has been terminated, new board chair Ajay Bhal Amrit confirmed today.

Amrit said in a statement that chief financial officer Vimlesh Sagar would act in the position until the board could “confidently appoint” a person with appropriate commercial competency and attributes needed to lead the company.

This decision was made following a board meeting with Amrit, Sayed-Khaiyum, executive directors and senior management team on Friday.

Amrit said Sayed-Khaiyum was earning considerably more than government ministers and even the prime minister. Riyaz is the brother of former FijiFirst attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He was receiving approximately $32,000 a month and $25,000 in bonus a year, said Amrit.

Amrit said this came as a shock to the new FBC board members and to most of the citizens of Fiji.

FBC grant to be reviewed
He said there were discussions with Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad and it was agreed that the government grant to FBC would be reviewed.

“The board will work with staff and management to ensure that FBC is a financially viable and a self-sustaining commercial business, while honouring its PSB [public service broadcasting] responsibilities,” he said.

He added that the public broadcaster FBC was willing to work with other media organisations to ensure that there was positive change to the current media laws as this would allow the newsroom to function in a fresh, balanced and new environment going forward.

FBC board chair Ajay Amrit talks finances.                      Audio: Fiji Times

“Our collective objective and commitment to our staff, shareholders, our valued listeners and viewers remains.”

Wata Shaw is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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