Disturbed by the perceived spate of impunity surrounding the operations of Multi-choice Nigeria, a subsidiary of South African-based Multichoice Africa, owners of DSTV, the Senate Wednesday mandated its Joint Committee on Information, Trade and Investment to commence the probe of the operations and activities of the firm in Nigeria.
The Senate also summoned the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to explain why the firm has been acting as if there are no regulators.
The committees were also asked to unravel the rationale behind DSTV’s unchallenged dominance in the Nigerian satellite television market which they believed was the underlying factor behind its sharp and unhealthy practices in the country. The move was spurred by a motion by Senator Isa Misau (Bauchi Central)
To enable the Senate get to the root of the matter, it also directed the joint committee to organize a public hearing involving stakeholders and civil society organizations with a view to ensuring that the menace of Multi-choice is brought to an end.
Leading debate on the motion, Misau recalled how Multi-choice’s unchecked sharp practices had forced some Nigerians to engage it in legal battles in the last five years over a myriad of issues such as arbitrary increase in subscription charges; its refusal to adopt pay as you use model; unilaterally moving major games from low subscription bouquets (COMPACT) to high ones (PREMIUM), poor service delivery, among others.