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FG Shuts Down Firms Pirating Broadcast Signals of DStv, Others

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Three broadcasting facilities engaged in pirating the broadcast signals of several right owners including Star Times, Communications Trends Nigeria Limited (CTL) and MultiChoice Nigeria (MCN) have been closed down during joint enforcement operations carried out simultaneously by operatives of Nigerian Copyright commission (NCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) in Aba and Umuahia, Abia State.

FG Shuts Down Firms Pirating Broadcast Signals of DStv, Others

Mr. John O. Asein, the Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission

The illegal broadcasting stations were sealed and broadcast contrivances impounded for being deployed in the illegal distribution of pay TV channels and unauthorised retransmission of other cable TV’s protected contents in violation of the Copyright Act.

Based on intelligence and surveillance reports, the broadcast facilities of Popular Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Modern Communication Limited (MCL) being used for copyright infringement activities were confiscated on Thursday, March, 12, while employees engaged in broadcast piracy were arrested during joint enforcement operations by three separate teams of NCC and DSS operatives.

Following months of surveillance and intelligence gathering, the illicit broadcast operations at the three facilities located in Aba and Umuahia, in Abia State were interrupted when Copyright Inspectors from NCC and DSS operatives raided the facilities.

Equipment found on the premises of the illegal broadcasters included those for the retransmission of Star Times, Communications Trends Nigeria Limited (CTL) TV and MultiChoice Nigeria (MCN) contents. Also recovered were broadcasting decoders for Ben Sports, Canal Plus and other contrivances used for their illegal activities in violation of the provisions of the Copyright Act.

Speaking on the raid, Mr. John O. Asein, the Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, represented by Mrs Nkechi Ezinma, State Coordinator of NCC Rivers State Office, reiterated the determination of the Commission to confront copyright piracy in the different industries.

He expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) for the operational and logistic support that made the raid and arrests possible.

In his words, “The joint operation is a demonstration of a common objective of relevant agencies to ensure that the laudable economic policies being introduced by Government are not thwarted by the illegal activities of unscrupulous persons”.

According to the Director-General, the on-going efforts of the Federal Government to reposition the broadcast industry and ensure a safe and investment friendly legal framework call for a more proactive copyright enforcement strategy.

He assured investors in the creative sector, particularly the broadcast industry, that the Commission would continue to ensure that they enjoyed safe corridors to guarantee returns on their investment.

The Director-General said investigation into the activities of the suspects would commence immediately and any copyright infractions would be prosecuted while other criminal activities would be reported to the relevant agencies for further action.

He appealed to the public to desist from patronising copyright pirates and urged them to report suspected copyright violations to the Commission.

One of the arrested operators, who claimed that he once had a broadcast licence from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), however, confessed that the licence had since lapsed.


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CBN Says Claims of N2,000, N5,000 Banknotes in Circulation Fake

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sunday, denied videos and pictures of the purported circulation of N2, 000 and N5,000 banknotes in the country.

CBN Says Claims of N2,000, N5,000 Banknotes in Circulation Fake

The apex bank in a tweet via the official Twitter handle are warned false and fake.

CBN called on Nigerians to disregard claims of such banknotes and urged members of the public to report anyone found in possession of such to law enforcement agencies.

Recall that in 2013, the CBN under the leadership of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had said it was going to introduce a N5,000 banknote into the country.

Recently, the social media was abuzz after aman reportedly visited a bank and deposited the sum of N17m with yet to be designed or released N5000 and N2000 naira notes.

In accompany video, a lady could be heard in the clip, revealing how the man stormed the bank with the bundle of new 5000 and 2000 naira notes to deposit it.

 

 

 


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Coalition of Nigeria Consumers Kick against Multichoice over Proposed Price Hike

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A Coalition of Nigeria Consumers has expressed concerns over the recent announcement by Multichoice Nigeria Limited, providers of Digital Satellite Television services on (DStv and GOtv) platforms, that it will increase its subscription price from June 1.

Coalition of Nigeria Consumers Kick against Multichoice over Proposed Price Hike

This was contained in a petition sent to the director-general of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) through the F. S Onifade & Associates titled “powers of the commission to regulate price: abuse of power of dominace in markets and impending price hike by multichoice/dstv in Nigeria.”

Festus Onifade, managing partner at the F.S Onifade & Associates said the petition was anchored on “Power of Abuse of Dominance” as provided for in new law FCCPC Act 2018 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in February, 2019 which is prohibited under Section 72 of the FCCP Act.

The Act empowers the FCCC to fix and regulate prices of goods and services where such infractions have been brought to the notice of the Commission.

According to the petition, the increment plans by the company citing the increase in VAT rate as the reason, makes it the third time in a period of five years despite court injunctions against similar increment which was not obeyed.

It, therefore, called on the Commission to under law and new identity save the Nigeria consumer from another oppressive private monopoly, noting that out of about 14.56 million subscribers on across Africa, Nigeria alone has 40% of this numbers as at 2019 making her the largest and leading satellite TV service provider in Nigeria.

“You will recall that Mutilchoice Nigeria Limited had recently announced that it will be increasing its rates for DStv and GOtv subscribers from 1st June, 2020, citing the increase in VAT rate as the reason for this imminent price increment.

“Our client also noted with grave concerns that apart from the pattern of (content recycling) of repetitive films and programmes; many local TV Channels which ought to be free are paid for by Nigeria consumers as opposed to the practice of enjoying free local TV Channels in other part of the world.

“Worst still is that with a monthly premium subscription rate of about N16, 000 our client and Nigerian consumers are greatly surcharge. This is because with an average of 720 hours per month, an average view is about six hours per day. If usage is converted to hourly basis this same amount will give a consumer four months value. Hence, we advocate ‘pay as you use.’


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COVID-19: NBC Fines 3 Radio Stations over False Claims

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National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined three stations over broadcast of invariable content on COVID-19 and also sanctioned 28 others for other violations against the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

COVID-19: NBC Fines 3 Radio Stations over False Claims

Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, acting director-general of NBC, at a press briefing in Abuja, said the three stations fined were Adaba FM and Breeze FM, all in Akure, as well as Albarka FM, Ilorin.

He said that the stations  were fined N250,000 each for broadcasting invariable claims and misleading information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NBC boss further stated that 28 other stations were sanctioned for violation of the code in areas bordering on hate speech, obscenity, technical breach, advertisement, invariable claims and unprofessionalism.

“All the stations have been either queried or sanctioned according to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code

” The commission wishes to, again, re-emphasise that all broadcasters must adhere strictly to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and National Broadcast Act CAP N11 Laws of the Federation, 2004,”Idachaba said.

On reforms by the NBC, Idachaba said the amendment of the sixth edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari made provisions for local content in the broadcast industry.

According to him, it also makes provision for increased advertising revenue for local broadcast stations and content producers.

“It also creates restrictions for monopolistic and anti competitive behavior in the broadcast industry. It further makes provision for responsibility for broadcast stations during national emergencies.

” I am glad that the work is ready now, and the commission has published the provisions of the amendment of the code,” he said.

On Digital Switch Over (DSO), the NBC boss explained that the commission was considering a new licence free regime and broadcast signal distributors carriages fees for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) operators

“The new rates would affect National Free-view DTT, Rational Free-view DTT and Local Free-view DTT.

” The committee expects all licenced DTT operators to commence payment of the new fees which is lower than the fees in the analogue era.

“However, very important progressive  steps are being taken for the actualisation of the DSO.

“There have been several online meetings with various players and stakeholders in the digital ecosystem.

” We have concluded plans for a new timeline, indicating new cities where we are moving to and the details will be released once the lock down is fully eased,” he said.

He called on all broadcasters and workers in the media industry to stay safe in the face of the raging pandemic.


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