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ATCIS gives FG, NBC 20 days ultimatum to order revert of increased Dstv, Gotv tariffs, start pay-per-view

The Association of Telephone, Cable Tv and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS) has given the Federal Government and Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) 20 days ultimatum to order the cable service provider, MultiChoice Company Limited, to revert its increased tariffs on DSTV and GOTV which have commenced since June 1st, 2020.

In a statement on Friday, the President of the association, Hon. Sina Bilesanmi aka OJUEKO warned that the 190.8 million members of the association would embark on mass protest across six geopolitical zones of Federal Republic of Nigeria if the tariffs are not reverted.

He said: “MultiChoice, a cable service provider in Nigeria, is being probed for allegedly cheating over 11.9 million Nigerian subscribers of ATCIS members by restricting them to prepaid plans, thereby making them to pay for services not viewed.

“We are urging the federal government of Nigeria to order the company to revert its new tariffs which are a way of cheating on the Nigerian subscribers. We reject this in totality as we will not take it lightly again after 20 days ultimatum starting from Saturday July 4th, 2020.”

Earlier, following public outcry led by ATCIS over the exploitative charges against Nigerian Subscribers, President Muhammadu Buhari has waded into the crisis, considering compelling the South Africa-based cable service provider, Multichoice to implement pay-per-view options to ATCIS subscribers in the country also while doing it with NBC, ATCIS representative must be there to protect the interest of its members on PAY PER VIEW.

Mr. Amstrong Idachaba, the Acting Director-General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), announced this while briefing members of an Ad Hoc Committee looking into the hike of DSTV tariffs in Nigeria.

According to the acting Director-General, the cable service provider, Multichoice, has been directed by the government to suspend the implementation of its new hiked tariffs on different bouquets on DSTV and GOTV in the interim.

He said: “I want to agree with ATCIS, the Committee and call on DSTV to suspend the hike in tariffs.”

On his part, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said the sporting right monopoly enjoyed by DSTV would be broken by the Federal Government.

The Minister added that the broadcasting codes would be amended to prevent MultiChoice from monopolising its channels and the contents of their broadcast.

Mohammed further disclosed that his office has already signed a code to break the sole right to cable service broadcast in Nigeria being enjoyed at the moment by MultiChoice Group in the country, saying, “our amendments to the Broadcasting Act, will affect the break in the monopoly of MultiChoice. Amendments to Section 628 of the Broadcasting Act is in our broad national interest.”

It would be recalled that due to outcry by ATCIS, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has been directed by the House of Representatives to ask MultiChoice to revert to its former subscription rates and suspend the newly introduced rates effective June 1, 2020.

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