Reps call for Covid -19 testing on Multichoice CEO

By Gift Chapi-Odekina

The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the non- implementation of the pay as you go tariff plan by satellite broadcasters and DSTV subscription price increase has asked the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control NCDC, Dr. Ihekweazu Chikwe , to locate the Chief Executive Officer of Multichoice (operators of DSTV), John Ugbe and test him for Covid-19 virus.

The committee headed by Rep. Unyime Idem also asked the agency to immediately commence contact tracing of passengers in the plane with him, his staff and people he may have had contact with at the airport.

The resolution of the panel was sequel to a letter written by Ugbe to the Committee that he would be unable to appear before it as he had come down with an illness after arriving Abuja on Tuesday for the meeting.

The letter signed by Gozie Onumonon, Head: Regulatory Affairs, for the CEO reads in part: “Because of the abundance of caution needed to be taken in line with the current pandemic, we believe it is necessary that the meeting be deferred until he has regained his health and is cleared by his medical doctor. ”

The motion was thereafter moved by a lawmaker, Julius Pondei and was seconded by Rep. Olajide Adedeji and adopted by all members of the committee.

Pondei noted that the letter written by CEO of Multichoice has no time or date, “it’s vague meaning were not expecting him anytime soon.

” I want to move that the NCDC should locate the CEO of Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe and ensure he is tested for Covid-19, since he’s already alluded that he’s having cough, and not feeling well…and report back to the House within four (4) days.”

The Chairman Rep. Unyime Idem also said the CEO called him on phone on Wednesday and said he was sick and coughing and there is a need for him to be tested for the dreaded virus so he can be treated as soon as possible if necessary, and give the expected testimony before the Committee.

The Committee thereafter gave the NCDC four (4) days to get back to it after instructing the clerk of the Committee to immediately communicate the resolution of the lawmakers to the NCDC.

Idem further explained that the Committee had written the organisation a letter of Invitation twice and on both occassions Multichoice had refused to come and also did not send representatives. He said the House has given the panel an assignment and it must be concluded.

The deputy Chairman of the Committee Rep. John Dyegh noted that the CEO was being cautious .

“The man in a telephone conversation with the Chairman said he had cough, which he suspects could be anything near Covid. There’s nothing wrong in saying NCDC should test him. Were not saying admit him, only to be tested,” he said

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