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Owalo: Why government is reducing media expenditure


ICT Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo has voiced his concern over the excessive amount of money the government allocates to advertising revenue.

Owalo says he is gunning to re-engineer the advertising space to reduce costs while emphasizing the need for media outlets to diversify their revenue streams.

At a recent address to the media, Owalo expressed his dissatisfaction with the substantial expenditure incurred by the government on advertising, particularly in print media.

Citing the example of the ‘mygov’ State publication, he revealed the government had been spending approximately Ksh.60 million to print the publication.

However, Owalo highlighted that a state agency could reproduce it for a mere Ksh.3 million, a significant cost difference.

“I don’t see why the government should continue spending the amounts of money that it has been spending on advertising revenue. We are going to re-engineer that space in the not-so-distant future, but we are not against the media,” stated Owalo.

“Anything I do as the ICT CS must make sense from a business perspective. I won’t continue spending that large amount of money on advertising revenue in this digital age. It doesn’t make sense to me, and once I get approval from relevant levels, I will definitely introduce certain changes.”

CS Owalo emphasized the current digital era requires adaptability and urged media outlets to evolve their business models to remain sustainable. He emphasized that relying solely on government revenue was an outdated approach and encouraged media organizations to explore diverse sources of income.

“You cannot continue doing your business the way you used to do before. We are in a digital age, and you cannot look at the government as the single source of revenue for the media,” Owalo emphasized. “You have to adapt to change. We are in a digital economy; you cannot continue doing your business the traditional way and expect solely to rely on government revenue. You are getting it wrong.”

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