DSTV/GOTV price Hick: Reps demands reversal

…….Insists on pay as you go policy

By Gift Chapi Odekina

The House of Representatives on Monday frowned at mutichoice company over its recent hick in price and the refusal to impliment pay as you go policy in Nigeria like it’s been done in South Africa and other countries.

This is as the House Ad-hoc Committee investigating the non implementation of pay as you go policy by Multichioce/DSTV insisted that the organisation should look into the plight of Nigerians and reverse their decision on price increment.

Members of the commitee who expressed displeasure at the decision by multichoice, insisted that the Managing director , John Ugbe who represented the company go back and liase with the company’s management board members and return back to the committee on a later day to agree to the demands of the House.

This came after a motion was moved by the Deputy chairman of the Committee, Rep. John Dyegh who insisted that the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Director General Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Armstrong Idachaba, Engineers and experts do also appear on the rescheduled day in order for the committee to have a full blown investigative hearing to tell whether the reduction for subscription fee was possible.

“Constitutionally we have to look at your books. If you are truly Nigerian, you will know that this is unfair. This investigation has to be full blown so you argue with Nigerians and tell them what you are telling us. We have to invite the Minister of Information, NBC (Nigeria Broadcasting Commission), engineers and other experts should all appear before the Committee so you will tell Nigerians what you are telling us right now “, Dyegh said.

Corroborating his position Rep.Olododo Abdulganiyu from Kwara State (APC) said he was in support of the motion that the current probe be expanded to give room for stakeholders and the Minister of Communication to appear.

However the motion was not taken by the chairman of the committee, Rep. Uyime (PDP, Akwa Ibom) but he insisted that MD go back and discuss with multichoice board on the committee’s demands and get back to them.

” There is no going back on demand of pay as you go so you have to go back and discuss with the board management of Multichioce and get back to the Committee “, Edem insisted.

The decision by the chairman of the commitee to ignore the motion moved by the deputy chairman did not go well with members of the committee as they were seen grumbling among themselves over failure by the chairman to rule on their decisions.

It was also observed that the Deputy chairman of the Committee, Rep. Dyegh who earlier moved the motion attempted to staged a walkout but was persuaded by his colleagues to sit back as he grudgingly returned to his sit.

Afterwards, when Dyegh was approached by newsmem for an interview on the matter, he said “I would not want the issue to escalate hence my colleagues have already pleaded with me”, he pleaded.

Speaking early, Managing Director of Multichioce Mr. John Ugbe, said ” the increase of the subscription fee of DSTV and GoTV was as a result of the recently passed finance act bill and also the hike in the fuel price which aggevted the business. ”

Speaking further on the pay as you go policy, the Multichioce boss said the broadcast industry was a one way communication system so therefore it would be difficult to reverse the decision.

“The pay as you go is a one way concept in the broadcast industry on like the telecommunications industry. We also do not have that technology to stop the running of program content on satellite television. Again, when you compare the pricing with other countries in the world the subscription fee is lower in Nigeria”, he insisted.

Nevertheless, I will convey your message to the management board of multichoice company and get back to the committee, he added.

The committee is however expected to meet on. Later date to insist on the demands of Nigerians on price invreamemt and pay as you go policy.

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