By Abasifreke Effiong

Nigeria’s lower parliament, the House of Representatives is alarmed over the exploitation of Nigerians by the South African company, MultiChoice, owner of Digital Satellite Television (DStv).

The House says it is still in shock to know that DStv runs a pay as you go tariff for subscribers on its satellite TV in other countries but imposes a fixed monthly tariff on its subscribers in Nigeria.

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DStv came under strong criticisms by the 360 member legislative when its operations and other direct-to-home service providers were discussed at plenary on Tuesday 17th March following a motion brought before the House by Mr. Unyime Idem, deputy chairman of the committee on Communications.

The House of Representatives passed a resolution directing all direct -to – home service providers in Nigeria to charge Nigerians based on a pay as you go tariff as against the fixed monthly tariff plan.

Unyime Idem, a telecommunications mogul from Akwa Ibom state, representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency, said government should end fixed monthly tariff which argued was an unnecessary exploitation of Nigerians by DStv and other direct-to-home broadcast satellite service providers operating in the country.

'DSTV runs pay as you go tariff in other countries, not fixed monthly tariff done in Nigeria' Mr. Unyime Idem, Deputy Chairman, Committee on Communications, House of Representatives.

He said it was worrisome that although Nigeria constitutes 40% of DStv’s global market, over 40% of her citizens do not use a greater part of their paid monthly subscription and cannot access the services upon expiration whether they used their previous subscriptions or not, until they renew their subscription for another month.

“It is shocking that DStv operates a pay as you go tariff in other countries like Kenya but choose to ride on the ignorance of some consumers in Nigeria to exploit them through a fixed monthly tariff.”

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“It is disturbing that this constitutes economic sabotage against Nigerians as most of them pay for services they are not consuming while the company, judging from their average tariff of N8000, if multiplied by 11.9 million subscribers makes about N100 billion monthly at the expense of the satisfaction of Nigerians.”

Meanwhile the House among other resolutions has set up an ad-hoc committee with Mr. Idem as the chairman of the committee to look into the matter and report to the House.