House Approves Pay-As-You-Go, Price Reduction For DSTV, Other Cable TV Subscribers

The House of Representatives has adopted the pay-per-view, pay-as-you-go and price reduction for DSTV and other cable satellite operators in the country.

This followed the approval of the recommendations of the ad–hoc Committee on Non–Implementation of Pay–As–You–Go and sudden Increment of Tariffs plan by Broadcast Digital Satellite Service Providers.

The chairman of the committee, Unyime Idem, had earlier laid the report before the House, before it was considered by the House on Wednesday in Abuja.

The House called on the federal government to expedite action on the implementation of the National Broadcasting Code and the Nigeria Information Policy of 2014.This the House noted, would trigger healthy competition in the industry, adding that the entertainment industry had a wider spectrum with limitless opportunities for the teeming youths.

The House stated that the visible absence of competitors in the industry was tacit approval of monopoly of the industry by the present operators.

Thus, the lawmakers suggested that timely application of government regulatory intervention measures already articulated would revolutionise the industry and meet the people’s yearnings for Pay-as-you-go, Pay-Per-View and price reduction.

According to the recommendation, Nigeria’s extant laws that moderate operations in the industry should be fine-tuned to meet the 21st- century regulatory laws of the industry that is dynamic as the entertainment industry.

The House noted that the commission that had the power to license and regulate the activities of service providers must also have the power to moderate in the protection of consumers.

It was stated that there was little or nothing a regulator could do if he was handicapped by laws that were not properly tailored to the needs of the society.

According to the report, price increase and reduction have always been contentious issues for producers and consumers in the business world.

The House also listed the factors responsible for hike in subscription fee as the recent increment of VAT by 2.5 per cent by Financial Amendment Act of January 13 2020, and the fluctuating foreign exchange rate in the country that affects the cost of content.

Others are broadcast equipment, experienced hire and technical infrastructure, increase in bouquets for a wider choice, inflation on the cost of production and need to maintain workforce.

They identified the need not to throw many young Nigerians who are gainfully employed by pay-tv into the labour market.

The report noted that the use of Nigerian NigComSat or Nigerian Satellite that is still under-utilised was advocated by the committee.

The House urged the Management of NigComSat to embark on the creation of awareness to companies and Organisations that made use of satellite facilities.

The House advised satellite infrastructure users to look inwards and patronise the country’s satellite, reduce the cost of production and services and generate income for the government.

All obstacles that make use of NigComSat less attractive to the end-users must be looked into as utilisation of the satellite was key to resolving the issue, the House directed.

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