Nigeria's Parliament probe DSTV over high tariff

Jun 26, 2020

The House of Representatives has begun an investigation of cable and satellite television service providers in Nigeria over their high tariffs and monopolised bouquets.

The House is specifically probing the Digital Satellite Television, a South Africa-based provider owned by MultiChoice, for allegedly cheating its Nigerian subscribers by restricting them to prepaid plans.

Members of the House had on March 17, 2020, took turns to criticise DSTV for refusing to introduce pay-per-view.

Consequently, the House had resolved to set up the committee to probe into the matter, with the mandate to invite Federal Government agencies regulating the industry, including the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Again on June 2, 2020, the House inaugurated an ad hoc committee to investigative the increment of subscription rates by Multichoice and other cable television service providers.

The committee, which the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, constituted and inaugurated, assured Nigerians of justice and fairness, saying it would work towards making the providers to adopt ‘pay per view’ system.

Chairman of the committee, Unyime Idem, at an investigative hearing held in Abuja on Thursday, said the National Broadcasting Commission was summoned to explain why DSTV and other service providers have refused to introduce pay-per-view.

Idem said, “Today, we want to hear from you and your team, how the industry can be properly managed so that beneficiaries who are Nigerians can smile at the end of the day. I am sure you must have been hearing of the yearnings of Nigerians for years now, who are the subscribers to these services, that they are not happy with the current services they are getting from the providers.

“They have been crying on a daily basis that they are not satisfied with the services they are getting from the providers in terms of high charges, price hike and, most importantly, considering what is obtainable in other countries of the world, that is pay-per-view offer that other countries are giving to their subscribers.

“Why is it not implemented in Nigeria? We want to know your position as the regulator of this service providers. What are the bottlenecks? What are the constraints? What are the implications? Why are we not enjoying ‘pay as you go’ as subscribers to these service providers?”

 

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