The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday has resolved to demand that DSTV and other pay-tv platforms introduce a pay-per-view subscription model for Nigerians.
During Wednesday's plenary, the motion titled 'Nigerians dumbfounded, outraged over Pay-TV Tariff Hikes, demand for Pay-Per-View subscription model' was moved by Senator representing Benue South Senatorial district, Abba Moro.
The senator lamented MultiChoice Nigeria's decision to "willfully and perpetually increase the cost of its bundles because there is no regulation whatsoever in the area of fixing rates.
"Without recourse to the economic situation of the country, MultiChoice has again raised the cost of DSTV and GOTV bundles."
Moro argued that the introduction of the pay-per-view model will "enable [consumers] to match their TV consumption to subscription as it is with the case of electricity metering and mobile telephony."
In support of the motions, the Senator representing Taraba Central, Yusuf A. Yusuf argued that “This is high time we stood up firmly and face this MultiChoice to make sure we protect Nigerians. I support that their rates are scaled downward.
"And at the same time, there should also be a luxury charge on @DStvNg to make sure that Nigerians also benefit in another way."
Also drumming support for the motion, Senator Barau Jibrin told the house that Nigerians "are being short-changed by pay-tv. They (pay-tv) increase fees whenever they like without considering the service they provide to Nigerians. Their service is poor, they don’t give what Nigerians are supposed to have."
"Because of the nature of electricity we have in this country, sometimes someone will pay but lack of light won’t allow the person enjoy such services yet once the month ends, that money goes. There should be a system where there will be pay-per-view."
"Again, the regulators should do the needful by not allowing an increase of fees by these entities the way they like. It is not in the interest of our people. I thereby support this motion because we need to stand for the interest of our people.”
As such, the senate resolved to:
i. Urge the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and the Nigerian Communications Commission to direct all pay-tv providers to introduce a pay-per-view model of subscription against the month to month prepaid model presently in place;
ii. Direct all pay-tv service providers in Nigeria to immediately review their bouquet prices downwards in tandem with the prevailing reality of the economic situation in the country; and The Nigerian Senate
iii. Establish an ad-hoc committee to further investigate this incessant increase in fees by @DStvNg in this country with a view to finding a lasting solution to it.
Reacting, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, called for a public hearing on the issue.
He said, “What @DStvNg is doing here, they can’t do it in many countries but here they do it & get away with it.
“So we need to have a public hearing. Our ad-hoc committee should be given the mandate to do a whole scale investigation.”