OrderPaperToday – The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Tuesday agreed to issue directive to broadcast service providers to revert to old tariffs as against a recent raise.
Recall that MultiChoice, owners of DStv had, from June 1, increased tariffs of various subscribers in a move to implement the 7.5 per cent raise in Value Added Tax (VAT). Premium subscribers who had been paying N15,800 are to pay N16,200; Compact Plus subscribers now pay N10,925 instead of N10,650 while those on Compact are to pay N6,975 as against the previous N6,800, amongst others.
But the NBC Director-General, Armstrong Idachaba, while appearing before the House of Representatives adhoc committee investigating the increment said the agency would prevail on the service providers to reverse the change.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, informed that the Ministry and NBC had suspended payments for the initial two months to all broadcasters so that they will be able to absorb the impact of COVID-19.
According to the Minister, “It would be unfair for those for whom we have suspended payment to also at the same time increase their own fees.
“The pay-as-go you model is achievable in Nigeria, not just achievable, a pay TV provider, Startimes is already offering it, puncturing the fallacy that it is not possible, all that is required is that the existing content should be taken back to the drawing board to accommodate the pay-as-you go options”.
Earlier, chairman of the adhoc committee, Mr. Uyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom) asked the federal government to give marching order to the broadcast satellite service (BSS) providers, particularly MultiChoice’s DSTV to reverse the recent June 1, 2020 price hike, and revert to the old price.
According to him, “this is not the best of times to increase the prices of services no matter the reasons for such increase, taking into consideration the ravaging effect of COVID-19 on the economy of Nigerians.
“The federal government needs to come up with a robust strategy to break the monopoly and open up the industry for larger participation so as to implement Pay-As-You-Go Tarrif (PAYG) regime for the digital TV broadcasting in Nigeria with particular reference to DSTV, GOTV, Startimes and Kwese TV”, he emphasized.