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Subscribers Push for Boycott of Multichoice Services over Fresh Tariff Hikes

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Some Nigerians have urged subscribers of Multichoice Nigeria, operators of  DStv and GOtv, to boycott the firm while petitioning the federal government, regulatory agencies, and the National Assembly to intervene and ‘save Nigerians from alleged exploitation, according to ConsumerConnect .

Subscribers Push for Boycott of Multichoice Services over Fresh Tariff Hikes

This is coming as the Pay-Tv announced a second price increase for its DStv and GOtv packages this year, with hikes of at least 19 per cent across all bouquets

Multichoice Nigeria on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, announced fresh price increments in its DStv and GOtv packages after the first one it had announced and effected May 1, 2023.

According to Multichoice in  a letter dated November 1 and addressed to its partners, had stated: “On Monday, November 6, 2023, we will adjust our prices across all our packages on DStv and GOtv.

“We understand the impact this challenge may have on our valued customers and partners, but the rise in the cost of business operations, had led us to make this difficult decision.”

Multichoice also noted: “It remains our mission to provide the best entertainment and viewing experience to our valued customers and are committed to continue to deliver high-quality content and unparalleled service to our customers.”

The new tariff  for Premium bouquet, has been adjusted from N24,500 to N29,500; Compact+, from N16,600 to N19,800; Compact, from N10,500 to N12,500; Confam, from N6,200 to N7,400, among others.

However, for GOtv consumers, Supa+ price has increased from N10,500 to N12, 500; Supa moved from N6400 to N7,600; Max from N4850 to N5,700; Jolli, from N3,300 to N3,950, among others.

Multichoice Nigeria financials showed that the operator generated N277 billion for its financial year end March 31, 2023,

The company’s revenue, by implication, recorded 29 percent growth, compared to the N177.5 billion recorded in the previous year.

Reacting to the tariff hike, Sina Bilesanmi, president, Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS), called for boycott of both DStv and GOtv by subscribers in Nigeria, stressing that the new price hike is exploitative in nature.

Bilesanmi contended it was the “fourth time” the operators would effect price hikes in 2023 in Nigeria.

He stated: “I cannot believe this is happening at this time. The brand is just exploiting the Nigerian market, all because no alternative yet!

“I will employ all Nigerians to boycott both DStv and GOtv services. I also call on President Tinubu, the National Assembly to step in and save Nigerians from this exploitation.”

According to him, ACTIS had met with President Tinubu August this year,  and demanded his intervention by asking these operators to give customers Pay Per View.

ACTIS recalled that “President Tinubu said we should give him time then. But I think the time is now for the entire country to rise against this exploitation by Multichoice.”

Bilesanmi also noted that the Association had written about 20 letters since 2020 to Multichoice on Pay Per View, and other issues in the industry, but the company feigned ignorance to these letters.

Earlier April 2023, Nigerians also had reacted angrily to Multichoice increments in subscription tariffs for both DStv and GOtv packages.

The company in its message to consumers had stated: “Please note that from May 1, your monthly subscription (premium) will be N24,500. To retain your old price of N21,000 for up to 12 months, ensure you are active by April 30.”

One of the subscribers then, simply took to his social media page and wrote: “You’ll soon pack up.”

Another simply identified as Morene Ajike, an Abuja-based businesswoman, who reportedly asked: “Nigeria is a country of over 200 million people.

“How come its citizens depend solely on a foreign company to view soccer stations, African Magic and other entertainment channels? All these things still points to corruption.”

She also alleged: “Companies like Multichoice closes the mouth of our political leaders with bribe and extorts citizens.”

Likewise, Bilesanmi had said of the idea: “Yes, we are aware of the South African hike and know that it is a sign of what will happen in Nigeria.

“They will hide under the guise of spiraling inflation and others to hike tariffs. But we have always pushed for pay-per-view.

“And if they say they do not have the technology or precedent globally to implement that template, they should think about a technology that allows us to retain our subscription when we don’t use it.”

He further explained: “For instance, if I subscribe and I am unable to use my subscription either because I am not around or I do not have cash to fuel my generator, I should be able to use it or roll it over when I subscribe again.”

Again, several subscribers have asked how Multichoice can actually justify its claim of delivering value and accessible services to its Nigerian customers?

“Is it by making life unbearable and contributing to the hardship that is already killing the people.

“How can Multichoice say it acknowledges that the people of Nigeria are living under increased economic pressure and yet hit them harder with price hike?”

Credit : ConsumerConnect .


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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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