The Minster of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed has agreed to order DSTV and others to immediately reverse their recent subscription price increase in the interest of Nigerians.
The Minister also promised speedy implementation of Pay As You Go Tariff Plan and breaking of monopoly in the industry.
Lai Muhammed disclosed this when he appeared before the Adhoc Committee investigating non-implementation of Pay as You Go Tariff by DSTV and others.
In his remarks,the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Rep. Unyime Idem said,
“The mandate the House gave us in June 2, 2020 was that DSTV should reverse to the old price regime. The House views the recent increase as insensitive, inhuman and unacceptable. What they did was so bad even after enjoying reprieve from NBC. In the period where Nigerians are going through difficulty as a result of COVID-19, they were not supposed to increase the price at the time. This is a period they are supposed to do more of corporate social responsibility and give more discount to subscribers. So we are giving them a marching order to reverse the price, maintain status quo pending when we will finish this investigation.”
On the issue of DSTV monopoly and Pay As you Go, Rep. Idem asked the Information Minister, “Nigerians are eager to know why Pay As You Go is difficult to implement in Nigeria? They want to know why breaking of monopoly in this industry is difficult? I was impressed when in October last year you said that all forms of monopoly in the industry must be broken. Almost one year after, the monopoly working against the progress of the industry is still in place. The sector has huge potentials capable of generating revenue and employment. Why do you allow only one player to dominate such that new players are suffocated to extinction? I was so pained to learn that the premises of TSTV has become an abandoned property as if they lack the expertise to run the business. This is because a particular operator does not allow them to breathe as they seat on the progress of others. Nigerians want to know what it will take to break this monopoly. What do you need from the National Assembly to make this happen? We cannot allow only one operator to be the only cock to crow; no matter how powerful they are. The telecoms industry was like this. When it was opened up, jobs were created and there was larger participation. There are a lot of Nigerians who have what it takes to operate in this sector but monopoly is the problem. We want the digital broadcast sector to be opened up for larger and all-inclusive participation”
In his response, Minister Lai Muhammed said that DSTV is not justified in its June 1, 2020 price increase at a period when Nigerians are still grappling with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
He promised to ensure that the prize increase reversal is done with immediate effect. He also promised to ensure speedy implementation of Pay As You Go Tariff Plan and coming up with strategies to break the monopoly in the industry