The PUNCH reports that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D (South West) has given a 7-day ultimatum to MultiChoice Nigeria Limited to reverse the prices of its DStv and GOtv packages or risk having all its offices in the region sealed.
MultiChoice Nigeria is the Nigerian subsidiary of MultiChoice Africa, owner of DStv and GOtv.
The company on March 22 in a statement, announced the increase in its subscription rates, blaming it on the rising inflation and cost of business operations.
It said the new rates would take effect from April 1.
Reacting, NANS South-West Deputy Co-ordinator, John Alao and the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Opeoluwa Awoyinfa in a statement urged President Muhammadu Buhari to compel MultiChoice Nigeria to adopt the pay-as-you-view billing system.
The student leaders described the activities of the company as exploitative.
“We hereby give 7 days’ ultimatum to MultiChoice Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) to reverse their plan of increasing their tariffs and also yield to the call of Nigerians and also implementing PAY AS YOU VIEW tariffs or else we shall be left with no other option but to lock up all offices of DSTV until our demands are meant which is the mind of all Nigerians,” a statement by NANS said.
“The Leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students Southwest (Zone D) has taken it upon themselves to influence governmental or private organisations decision and policies at the federal, state and local government Level that may add hardship to Nigerians to what they are presently experiencing,” Awoyinfa was quoted in the statement as saying.
“We are at a time when Nigerians has lost hope and does not know what's next on the radar.
“Today; we are aware that MultiChoice Digital Satellite has increased their tariffs without considering the standard of living of Nigerians. We have also waited for long to see if this same company will dance to the music of Nigerians who have been clamouring for PAY AS YOU VIEW TARIFF but the reverse is the case.
“This is the time to call on the National Broadcasting Commission to go back to the commission act to regulate the ownership, activities and operations of Direct Broadcast Satellite Service Providers.
“DSTV is one of the leading direct to home service providers in Nigeria since its inception of operation far back 1995 and has also made a lot of profit with over 25 million subscribers which is the largest market for its operations. We want the Federal Government to stampede their proposed plan in tariffs increment and also force them to implement the PAY AS YOU VIEW system.
“It’s obvious that users are being placed on a fixed monthly tariff plan unlike what is obtainable outside Nigeria. The record shows that Nigeria constitutes over 45 percent of DSTV's global market share; yet over 50 percent of users are not enjoying what they are paying for due to a series of engagements just to make a living and also due to lack of constant power supply.
“We are aware that DSTV operates a system of PAY AS YOU GO tariffs in other countries but chose to be inhumane and has a hatred for Nigerians. As the Leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students in Southwest; we see this to be unfair and sardonic and also an act to keep exploiting Nigerians.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria should as a matter of concern enact a law to compel MultiChoice to introduce PAY AS YOU VIEW billing system which will do nothing but good to Nigerians who are already fed up with the current economy imbroglio. Nigerians are tired of paying for services they did not use.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Coordinator said, “For so long, MultiChoice Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) has ignored complaints by Nigeria user's and Nigeria Communication Commission have not been showing concern through the Minister for Communication.
“We are ready to take the bull by the horns as Nigerians will not welcome any increment in tariff but the Implementation of PAY AS YOU VIEW tariff by MultiChoice Digital Satellite Television (DSTV).
“We will never allow any policy or decision by any government, private organisations or person that may want to add to the present hardship and hunger already unleashed on Nigerians.
“We also urge and advise the Federal Government of Nigeria through his excellency President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Communications (and Digital Economy) to break the sporting right of MultiChoice as they have done more harm than good to Nigerians. An alternative to this service provider should be made available in the country so that Nigerians can stop being exploited on a daily basis.”