• Raises C’ttee to implement Pay-As-You-Go plan
By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday accused Mutichoice, Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) and GOTV of defrauding Nigerians, just as it’s set up an ad-hoc committee chaired by hon.Unyime Idem and nine others to interface with Mutichoice Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) and Other Service Providers to Introduce the Pay as You Go Tariff (PAYG) Plan.
The decision followed a motion adopted on the Floor of the House on the need to call on Multichoice Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) and Other Service Providers to Introduce the Pay as You Go Tariff (PAYG) Plan raised by hon.Unyime Idem from Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency, Akwa Ibom PDP, during plenary on Tuesday.
Moving the motion, hon. Idem expressed worry that Nigeria constitutes 40% of DSTV’s global market share, yet over 40% of the citizens do not use a greater part of their paid monthly tariff due to engagements that take them from one location to the other on a daily basis, hence they cannot access the services upon expiration, whether or not they used their previous subscriptions until they renew it for another month.
According to him, DSTV and other Direct to Home Service Provider operates a Pay As You Go Tariff Plan in other countries but has chosen to exploit Nigerians through a fixed monthly Tariff Plan.
“The continuous exploitation by Multichoice, owners of DSTV, constitutes economic sabotage against Nigerians as most of them pay for services they do not consume while the Company, judging from their average monthly tariff of eight thousand naira, if multiplied by 11.9 million subscribers, makes about 100 billion naira monthly at the expense of its subscribers”, he added.
Contributing to the debate, hon. Aminu Suleiman (APC, Kano) said “it is not about whether one is well to do to pay for the monthly subscription, it is just that they are playing on the intelligence of Nigerians”. He therefore advised that DStv be called to order.
Recall that the National Broadcasting Commission Act empowers the National Broadcasting Commission to regulate the ownerships activities or operations of Radio and Television Stations, as well as Direct Broadcast Satellite Service Providers and currently, there are over 10 Direct- To-Home Service Providers operating in Nigeria and rendering paid services.
It would also be of note that DSTV, one of the leading Direct-To-Home Service Providers in Nigeria, was launched in 1995 and has about 11.9 million subscribers, which is largest market for its operations.