The Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) has dedicated a modern television station as well as its first national entertainment station, Metro FM 89.9.
The branding is part of LBS’s five-year strategic plan, which has been devoted to the station with backing from the People’s Republic of China. The ELBC Metro 89.9 FM station is housed in the former ELBC main radio broadcast studio, which has been renovated into a contemporary facility.
Liberia’s Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Ledgerhood Julius Rennie, described the facility as a state-of-the art station.
Both Metro 89.9 FM and ELBC 99.9 FM will broadcast from the Liberia Broadcasting System's main site in Paynesville City.
Director-General of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) Estelle Liberty-Kemoh said the Metro radio project is part of a long-term and successful bilateral engagement between Liberia and the Chinese government.
“Today’s dedication was made possible by President George M. Weah’s support and interest in prioritizing LBS, as well as his long-standing bilaterial relationship with the People’s Republic of China. As a consequence, today is a celebration of the value convergence of national ownership and initiative that you have sought in our bilateral cooperation, as well as a new type of experimentation in our national development,” the LBS DG added.
According to Mrs. Liberty-Kemoh, this would allow LBS management to extend its services by collaborating with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to launch an educational television channel called “Teach by Radio and Television,” as well as an exclusive LNTV sports channel and other areas of interest.
Madam Liberty-Kemoh stated that Metro 89.9FM will support LBS management in expanding its services by delivering unique entertainment on the radio and collaborating with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to develop "Teach by Radio and Television," an educational radio and television program.
She also urged collaboration with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and the National Steering Committee for Broadcasting and the Liberia Digital Migration Policy Statement.
According to her, the government must mobilize and commit resources to the LBS management, either through a public-private partnership or directly, in order for their institution to offer strategic direction for Liberia's migration process.
"We wish to congratulate President Weah's generous intervention for the quick rehabilitation and improvement of the two rusty and abandoned television live recording facilities that have been ignored for more than 30 years," she said.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Rennie praised the LBS Director-General for doing admirably as his successor at the agency. Minister Rennie also took the opportunity to urge the Liberian media to be more thorough in their reporting, as Liberia relies on them to bring about needed reform.
Chinese Ambassador Ren Yisheng spoke briefly during the occasion, reaffirming the support of the Chinese government and people for Liberia through infrastructural development and promising to do more at LBS to ensure greater quality.
LBS is a conglomeration of multiple broadcast media platforms, including ELBC radio, online and social media, rural sub-stations, LNTV, Metro FM, CGTM, China, Radio France International, and the BBC World Service, with more expected to come to screen in the near future as the entity expands into digital broadcasting.
The dedication, however, comes after President George M. Weah's recent bilateral meeting with the Government and People of China. A technical team from the Chinese government has already conducted a site survey on the west wing of the LBS campus in preparation for the construction of a fresh new multi-broadcast facility for the Liberian government and people.