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Bamgbose, BON Boss Faults FCCPC’sDdecision to Review DStv, GOtv Rates

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Yemisi Bamgbose, executive secretary of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), has faulted the decision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to review DStv and GOtv subscriptions.

\Bamgbose, BON Boss Faults FCCPC’sDdecision to Review DStv, GOtv Rates

In a statement on Monday, Bamgbose said the commission had remained silent following the increase in prices of goods and services by big firms and companies — but intends to review prices of the pay-tv.

“I would have given FCCPC a thumb up if they had been intervening on price matters, most especially those that have direct bearing on the livelihood of the masses,” Bamgbose said.

“If the mandate of FCCPC includes price control of goods and services in a free and deregulated economy, where was the organisation when Bakers Association in the country increased the cost of a loaf of bread more than 200% in the last one year.

“I doubt if FCCPC was aware that a sachet of pure water has been increased from five naira to twenty naira the last one year. Is the organisation on vacation?

“Perhaps the organisation is on leave when bottling companies in the country astronomically increased the cost of malt and other soft drinks. I was surprised that FCCPC didn’t call stakeholders meeting to review the new prices.

“Perhaps the cost of a bag of cement has not been increased from four thousand Naira in the last one year. That must be the reason why FCCPC did not deem it fit to invite Dangote, Bua and Lafarge cement manufacturers with relevant stakeholders to discuss the more than 100% increase on a bag of cement.

“Aviation sector, on a daily basis, increases the cost of domestic flights. This also has not attracted the attention of FCCPC.

“In the education sector, I was wondering why FCCPC could not call for the review of the cost  being charged by private educational institutions   especially those charging in dollars in a country where Naira is the legal tender.”

According to Bamgbose, if other services are allowed to increase their prices, MultiChoice should also have the freedom to determine the price of its products to maintain high-quality service.

She added that the choice of whether or not to subscribe to the service should be up to the consumer.

The secretary said subscription television is not an essential commodity and those who cannot afford the services of MultiChoice or any pay TV can decide not to subscribe.

“Anyway, on the part of broadcasting, I want to assume that FCCPC does not know what goes into the business of broadcasting, perhaps, that could inform the decision of the agency to plan the proposed review of the increase in the price of DSTV and GOTv pay TV channels respectively,” she said.

“There are free to air stations such as NTA, RADIO NIGERIA, AIT, SILVERBIRD CHANNELS, STATE OWNED RADIO AND TV STATIONS, PRIVATE RADIO STATIONS etc where consumers don’t pay to listen to radio or watch television.

“There are subscription channels such as MULTICHOICE, GOtv, TNtv, STARTIMES etc where viewers pay to watch and listen. There are choices.

“During Covid-19 pandemic, stations burnt diesel without adverts or other sources of revenue for more than twelve months in national interest.

“The cost of diesel rose from two hundred naira per litre in 2021 to one thousand seven hundred per litre in 2023/24, and broadcast stations have to transmit for twenty four hours changing from one generator to the other.

“None of the national stations such as Channels TV, Arise, TVC, AIT, Silverbird, and NTA, amongst others, commits less than one hundred million Naira on diesel on monthly basis to keep their mandate of information, education and entertainment.

“It may interest the public to know that many, if not all, of the national radio and television stations in Nigeria have not been able to break-even since 2020 when the nation’s economy was shut down as a result to Covid-19 pandemic.

“Why? Each network station that transmits 24 hours consumes not less than twelve thousand litres of diesel per week. In Nigeria, we want everything free.

“For MultiChoice to provide coverage to the nooks and cranies of the country, it maintains over three hundred sites powered with diesel generating sets in each of the sites.

“The public should also know that these PAYTV companies purchase all these contents that subscribers watch at the comfort of their homes and offices.

“Those who can not afford the services of MultiChoice and indeed any pay TV can decide not to subscribe, afterwards, there are many free to air television channels and content on satellites  OVER THE TABLE (OTT) that can be accessed through free to air decoders and wifi.”

Recall that  on April 24, Multichoice Nigeria announced an increase in the cost of subscriptions for its DStv and GOtv packages.

The pay-tv firm cited the rise in cost of operations as the rationale behind the price increase.

 

 

 


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Nigeria’s Public Debt Now N121trn – DMO

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Debt Management Office (DMO) says Nigeria’s total public debt has reached N121.67 trillion within three months.

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The Cable reports that this figure represents an increase of N24.33 trillion or 24.99 percent from the N97.34 trillion as of December 2023.

Nigeria’s public debt profile consists of the federal and subnational governments’ domestic and external debt stocks — the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

According to the DMO, the increase was primarily due to new domestic borrowing by the federal government to partly fund the deficit in the 2024 budget as well as disbursements by multilateral and bilateral lenders.

“Total domestic debt was N65.65 trillion (USD46.29 billion) while total external debt was N56.02 trillion (USD42.12 billion). Excluding naira exchange rate movements in Q1 2024, only the domestic debt component of total public debt grew from N59.12 trillion on December 31, 2023, to N65.65 trillion on March 31, 2024.

“The increase was from new borrowing to part-finance the 2024 Budget deficit and securitization of a portion of the N7.3 trillion Ways and Means Advances at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Whilst borrowing, as provided in the 2024 Appropriation Act, will continue, we expect improvements in the government’s revenue to enhance debt sustainability.”

On June 13, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, announced the approval of two major “financial support packages” by the World Bank — valued at $2.25 billion. In May, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said the federal government has secured a $500m World Bank loan to boost electricity distribution in the country.

Prior to this, the federal government had received $750 million from the World Bank for humanitarian and social reforms and $1.5 billion for its economic stabilisation plan.


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Icasa Orders Shutdown of StarSat, StarTimes SA Arm over License Controversy

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Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has declined to renew the license of On Digital Media, the operator behind StarSat, the South African branch of StarTimes Media.

Icasa Orders Shutdown of StarSat, StarTimes SA Arm over License Controversy

The decision, communicated in a letter to On Digital Media, mandates the company to cease operations by September 18, 2024, leaving the reasons for this decision and the steps required to secure a new license unclear.

Despite the shutdown order, Debbie Wu, CEO,  StarSat assured that the company will not be closing its operations anytime soon and is actively liaising with Icasa to find a resolution.

“We can assure you and the public that On Digital Media/StarSat will not be closing its operations anytime soon” Debbie Wu, CEO, On Digital Media.

“There’s been no notice to staff and StarTimes is still selling StarSat decoders to new customers,” an insider told TVwithThinus.

Reports that Icasa hadn’t renewed StarSat’s licence surfaced in early June 2024.

Icasa claimed it had sent a letter in mid-March to Wu and Ronald Reddy, general manager for legal, risk, and compliance, On Digital Media indicating it may issue a statement to inform subscribers, content providers, and financial stakeholders about the shutdown.

“Take note that Icasa may publish a notice on its website and/or in the Government Gazette advising affected subscribers, content providers and stakeholders about the winding up of ODM’s broadcasting services“, the regulator said.

Icasa clarified that it does not have the mandate to consider transfer or renewal applications for expired licenses and instructed On Digital Media to share its plan for notifying subscribers, content providers and stakeholders about the service cessation.

Wu stated that the company is exploring all regulatory and legal issues surrounding its licensing and reiterated that StarSat will continue its operations for the foreseeable future.

“Should such an event materialise, which we doubt will happen, we will respect our obligation in terms of the law to notify all interested parties,” Debbie Wu said, according to TVwithThinus.

 


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Climate Action Africa Reinforces Africa’s Urgency for Climate Change @CAAF24 Event in Lagos

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Climate Action Africa Forum 24 (CAAF24) held in Lagos, Nigeria marked a pivotal moment in the global effort to address climate change, organized by Climate Action Africa (CAA), a leading environmental advocate in Africa. CAAF24 aims to galvanize action and underscore the urgent need for climate action across industries and communities across Africa.

The event, held at the prestigious Landmark Center, brought together a diverse array of stakeholders including government officials, business leaders, academics, civil society representatives and the media.

The theme of this year’s forum, “Green Economies, Brighter Futures,” highlights the imperative for immediate and collective action in mitigating the effects of climate change in Africa and achieving global sustainability goals.

“CAAF24 serves as a critical platform for dialogue and collaboration,” said Grace Oluchi Mbah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of CAA.

“With the event, we aim to increase education and awareness on climate change, showcase innovations and projects driving Africa to a sustainable future, and more actively contribute to the expansion of Africa’s green economy.”

The program featured addresses from Her Excellency, Madame Ramatoulaye Diallo Ndiaye, Former Minister of Culture Mali and Founder and CEO of the Great Green Wall of Africa (GGWoA) Foundation who was the special keynote speaker.

There were breakout sessions for panel discussions and workshops that focused on key issues such as the potential of forests and carbon credits, climate financing, Nigeria’s carbon market activation, mobilizing private capital for climate-positive investments in Africa, building resilient and livable African Cities and more. Sessions were designed to encourage interactive participation and exchange of ideas among participants from diverse backgrounds and sectors.

In addition to formal sessions, CAAF24 included networking opportunities and showcased the selection of outstanding innovations from over 800 registerations through the Deal Room, a platform that connected high-impact climate innovators in Africa with potential investors seeking to accelerate sustainable solutions.

Other highlights at CAAF24 were the audacious launch of the Billion Trees for Africa Initiative as part of CAA’s community programs and the unveiling of the Pan-African Green Economy Program (PAGE), a partnership with IDEA AFRICA and the Founder Institute that seeks to grow a new generation of 5,000 green innovators across Africa by 2035.

The selection of Omoniyi Praise (1st position), Treasure Nwosu (2nd position) and Alabi Abimbola (3rd position) as winners for the Climate Champion Quest organised by STEAM Funfest also stood out at CAAF24.

As Africa faces increasingly severe climate impacts, CAAF24 is a platform that is committed to unifying the participation of diverse stakeholders in advancing and achieving climate action in Africa. By reinforcing the urgency of climate change through meaningful dialogue and collaboration, CAAF24 inspires concrete steps towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all.


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