FG must compel MultiChoice to offer pay per view to Nigerians: HURIWA

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has asked the federal government to compel MultiChoice to charge Nigerians per view or sanction the company.

Its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, made the call at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.

Mr Onwubiko expressed concern over the incessant hike in subscription fee that the company charges its Nigerian subscribers.

He complained that Nigerians don’t get quality services commensurate with the money they paid.

“For instance, some people pay N21,900 or N21,700 and you find out that you have over 100 channels in their bouquets.

“Then, out of over 100 channels, there is no way you can watch more than five channels, even if you don’t have work to do in a whole month; but you are expected to pay for all the channels they forced you to have.

“They include inconsequential channels showing villages in China or certain things that are not connected to education, entertainment and information for Nigerian subscribers.”

He said following global best practices to pay for what one consumes, “If MultiChoice can give its subscribers to pay per view in South Africa, why has it not given Nigerian subscribers the same rights and privileges?

“In terms of principle of marketing, if you want to buy an item or you are going to pay for a service that will be given to you, you are not expected to pay for what will not give you value for your money,’’ he said.

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Mr Onwubiko urged Nigerians to form a Union of Pay Television (PayTV) Subscribers in Nigeria to agitate for protection of their rights.

“I want to advise Nigerians to organise a union of PayTV subscribers in Nigeria. We are supposed to have a union like Trade Union Congress and Traders Association of Nigeria.

“Customers have consumer rights that need to be protected. If you don’t mobilise yourselves and come together to take a stand, it is quite difficult to get any policy that will favour the customers.

“It is not very easy for Non-Governmental Organisations to always champion this kind of advocacy, because sometimes, it is not very sustainable.

“It is quite challenging, but it becomes easier when you have Nigerians in their large numbers, owning the process of agitation for their rights to be protected as well as fair trade practices to be observed in Nigeria,’’ Mr Onwubiko said.

(NAN)

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