House Of Reps Okays Pay-As-You-Go For DSTV, Others

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The House of Representatives has approve the adoption of pay-as-you-go for DSTV and other cable satellite operators in the country.

The approval came following the recommendations of the Ad–hoc Committee on Non–Implementation of Pay–As–You–Go and sudden Increment of Tariffs plan by Broadcast Digital Satellite Service Providers.

The Chairman of the Committee and member representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, Unyime Idem, had earlier brought the report before the House and was considered during Wednesday’s Plenary in Abuja.

The House urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency expedite action on implementing the content of the National Broadcasting Code and the Nigeria information Policy of 2014.

They noted that this would trigger healthy competition in the industry, adding that the entertainment industry had a wider spectrum with limitless job and wealth creation opportunities for the teeming youths.

According to the House stated, the visible absence of competitors in the industry was tacit approval of monopoly by the present operators. They suggested that timely application of government regulatory intervention measures already articulated would revolutionise the industry and meet the people’s desire for Pay-as-you-go, Pay-Per-View and price reduction.

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.

The house also approved a price slash.

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.

They list other contentious issues such as 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.

Last week, Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accused MultiChoice owners of DSTV, the biggest player in the pay TV industry, of evading tax since its inception.

FIRS said it has appointed Nigerian Deposit Money Banks as agents to freeze and recover the sum of N1.8 trillion from accounts of Messrs MultiChoice Nigeria Limited (MCN) And MultiChoice Africa (MCA).

MultiChoice had since replied FIRS saying that it has complied with Nigerian tax laws and will prove that to them that they have not committed any tax fraud.

“We have read the media reports and the statements made by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),” the company said in a statement said.

“MultiChoice Nigeria has not received any notification from FIRS. MultiChoice Nigeria respects and is comfortable that it complies with the tax laws of Nigeria.

“We have been and are currently in discussion with FIRS regarding their concerns and believe that we will be able to resolve the matter amicably,” the company said.

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