The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to direct Mutichoice Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) and other direct-to-home broadcast service providers to implement a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) tariff plan.
The House gave the directive yesterday following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Representative Unyime Idem.
Idem in the motion, reminded the House 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.
He said, however, DSTV and other direct-to-home service providers have deliberately refused to implement the pay-as-you-go tariff plan but rather charge users on a fixed monthly tariff plan, unlike what is obtainable outside Nigeria.
“Aware that Nigeria constitutes 40 per cent of DSTV’s global market share, yet over 40 per cent 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.
“Also aware that DSTV operates a pay as you go tariff plan in other countries but has chosen to exploit Nigerians through a fixed monthly tariff plan”, he stated.
Exploitation of Nigerians by Multichoice, owners of DSTV, Idem said “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 N100 billion monthly at the expense of its subscribers.”
The House on adopting the motion mandated its committees on information technology and telecommunications to investigate the non- implementation of the PAYG tariff plan by broadcast satellite service providers with a view to ensuring strict compliance with the tariff plan and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.