Reps approve Pay-As-You-Go, price reduction for DSTV, others

Pay-as-you-go and a price cut for DSTV and other cable satellite carriers in the country were approved by the House of Representatives.

The House considered and accepted the Adhoc Committee on the Non–Implementation of Pay–As–You–Go and Sudden Tariff Increases by Broadcast Digital Satellite Service Providers’ recommendations.

Rep Unyime Idem, the Chairman of the Committee and a member of the House representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, presented the report to the House earlier this week, and it was discussed during Wednesday’s Plenary in Abuja.

The House demanded that the Federal Government take immediate steps to implement the National Broadcasting Code’s substance, as soon as possible.

According to the recommendation, our extant laws that moderate operations in the industry is to 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 National Broadcasting Commission saddled with the responsibility of licensing and regulating the activities of service providers must also have the power to moderate in the protection of consumers to guard against exploitation.

The House 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.

Furthermore, the report stated that 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 the hike in subscription fees as the recent increment of VAT by 2.5 per cent by the Financial Amendment Act of Jan. 13 2020, and the fluctuating foreign exchange rate in the country that affects the cost of content.

Other contentious issues listed 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 the workforce.

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

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