The Senate on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 deliberated upon a Motion titled “Concern on Unwholesome Practices by Multichoice Nigeria, Digital Satellite Television (DSTV)”, sponsored by Sen. Isa Hamma Misau (Bauchi Central).
Leading the debate, Sen. Misau asserted that Multichoice Nigeria, a subsidiary of South African based Multichoice Africa, owners of DSTV pay television, has been known to dominate the Nigerian satellite television market, thereby enabling it to engage in negative and unhealthy trade practices. He noted that in the past few years, DSTV has constantly been in the news over one legal battle after another from aggrieved subscribers, who are dissatisfied with the programming services and unreasonable subscription hikes across their various bouquets which have led to growing public complains and petitions.
Sen. Misau acknowledged that a lot of football loving Nigerians follow the English Premier League (EPL) on DSTV with the company enjoying the monopoly of broadcast in the country. He expressed concerned over the arbitrary increase in subscription charges, refusal to adopt the pay as you use model applicable in other climes where Multichoice operates, moving major games from low subscription bouquets (COMPACT) to high subscription bouquets (PREMIUM); poor service delivery and absence of toll free lines for customers’ complaints among others.
Accordingly, it is imperative for the Hallowed Chamber to intervene with a view to addressing the perceived high headedness of the pay TV Company; while also making sure that the regulatory agencies of the government are made to be alive to their responsibility said Sen. Misau. The Motion scaled through with two prayers below:
1) Direct the Senate Committee on Information to investigate and consider summoning the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the Committee on Trade and Investment.
2) Mandate the Committee on Information to organize a public hearing for all stakeholders and relevant civil societies to foster a way forward.
Meanwhile, the Senate has considered and adopted three reports of its Committees. The reports adopted include:
a) The Report of Joint Committee on Finance, Public Accounts, Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions on the “Abuse and mismanagement of Treasury Single Account”, sponsored by Sen. John Enoh (Cross River Central) and two others. The Red Chamber adopted the ten recommendations of the report.
b) The Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition led Sen. Sam Anyanwu (Imo East) on a petition by PC Bartholomew Joseph against the Nigeria Police Force over alleged wrongful dismissal from the Force. The two recommendations of the Report were adopted which directed the Force to reinstate Mr. Joseph.
c) The Report of Senate Committee on Marine Transport Chaired by Sen. Rufa’i Sani (Zamfara West) in respect of the Motion on the “Apapa Port Gridlock”. The Upper Legislative Chamber adopted the twelve recommendations of the report.
Well this should be a good sign to we the end users, its time DSTV listens to our cry. let us wait and hope for a better result that would favour us by the time all this is over.