From: Kemi Yesufu and Ndubisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Information and culture, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to interface with the Nigeria Communications Commissions to conduct an inquiry into the planned introduction of a new price regime by Statelite Television company, MNET for its DStv and GOtv subscribers.
The Joint Committee, which will also investigate the failure of MNET to adopt the “pay as you go”, option for Nigerian subscribers, is to report back to the House in eight weeks for further legislative action.
The resolution of the House was subsequent to the adoption of a motion entitled: “Need to Investigate the Exorbitant Charges and Refusal of Multi-choice Statelite Television to Adopt Pay- as -You -Go Pakage Option”, sponsored by Abbas Tajudeen.
Tajudeen in his lead debate on the motion, described as highly insensitive, the trend in which the prices of different bouquet Multichoice Satellite Television outlets have been increased in recent years .
He also condemned the refusal of the company to offer “pay- as- you- go” option on its digital satellite television, which he said is causing a financial strain on its subscribers.
According to him, it has been the practice for the company to increase the price of its various packages almost on a yearly basis.
“In 2013, the monthly subscription increased by 7-10 percent in 2014 by 10-15 percent and in 2015 by 10-22 percent and just recenltly, the company sent a notification of another price increase with effect from May
“DSTV does not have a pay- as- you- go plan like most similar communication companies around the world , thereby making its subscription plan to expire at the end of the monthly subscription period, whether or not the subscriber uses the services,” he said.
He argued that the regular increase in the prices of the various bouquet and MNET”s failure to adopt a “pay- as -you- go” payment option goes against globally acceptable fair business practice.
He expressed concern on the seeming inability of the relevant regulatory agencies to police the industry.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Yusuff Lasun who presided over the plenary.