By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The House of Representatives adopted pay-as-you-go and a price slash for DSTV and other cable satellite operators in the country.
The House considered and approved recommendations of the Ad–hoc Committee on Non–Implementation of Pay–As–You–Go and sudden Increment of Tariffs plan by Broadcast Digital Satellite Service Providers.
The Chairman of the Committee and member representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, Rep Unyime Idem, had earlier laid the report before the House and was considered during Wednesday’s Plenary in Abuja.
The House called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency expedite action on implementing the content of the National Broadcasting Code and the Nigeria information Policy of 2014.
The House noted that this would trigger healthy competition in the industry, adding that the entertainment industry had a wider spectrum with limitless job and wealth creation opportunities for the teeming youths.
The House stated that the visible absence of competitors in the industry was tacit approval of monopoly by the present operators. The House suggested that timely application of government regulatory intervention measures already articulated would revolutionise the industry and meet the people’s yearnings for Pay-as-you-go, Pay-Per-View and price reduction.
According to the recommendation, our extant laws that moderate operations in the industry is to be fine-tuned to meet the 21st- century regulatory laws of the industry that is dynamic as the entertainment industry.
The House noted that the National Broadcasting Commission saddled with the responsibility of licensing and regulating the activities of service providers must also have the power to moderate in the protection of consumers to guard against exploitation.
The House stated that there was little or nothing a regulator could do if he was handicapped by laws that were not properly tailored to the needs of the society.
Furthermore, the report stated that price increase and reduction have always been contentious issues for producers and consumers in the business world.
The House also listed the factors responsible for the hike in subscription fees as the recent increment of VAT by 2.5 per cent by the Financial Amendment Act of Jan. 13 2020, and the fluctuating foreign exchange rate in the country that affects the cost of content.
Other contentious issues listed are broadcast equipment, experienced hire and technical infrastructure, increase in bouquets for a wider choice, inflation on the cost of production and need to maintain the workforce.
They identified the need not to throw many young Nigerians who are gainfully employed by pay-tv into the labour market.