Reps panel tackles DSTV over high tariff, demands ‘pay-as-you-go’ subscription

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A house of representatives committee has insisted that cable and satellite television service providers in the country must introduce a pay-as-you-go subscription plan for customers.

The house ad hoc committee, which is investigating service providers over their high tariffs, said the pay-per-view plan is to address the yearnings of Nigerians.

The house had in March resolved to investigate complaints about high tariffs and monopolised bouquets on the cable subscription service.

The green chamber is specifically probing the Digital Satellite Television (DSTV), a South Africa-based company owned by MultiChoice, for high tariffs and restricting Nigerian customers to prepaid plans.

At the committee hearing on Thursday, Unyime Idem, the committee chairman, said excuses on why DSTV and other service providers have not introduced the PAYG plan are not tenable.

“We have already taken a decision that pay-as-you-go is not going back,” he said.

“We only called you to rub minds with you so that you can tell us what it takes; Nigerians have spoken to us and the challenge they threw at us is, no matter what it takes, that they need pay-as-you-go.

“So I want you to have it at the back of your mind that it is pay-as-you-go. That is the duty we owe the people that we are representing, and we are not going back.”

Armstrong Idachaba, acting director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), told the committee that the agency has on many occasions compared the tariffs in Nigeria with those of other African countries and found out that Nigeria’s rates are much lower in some cases.

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