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Court Stops Multichoice from Hiking Subscription Fees

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A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday restrained Multichoice Nigeria Limited from going ahead with its recent decision to increase the subscription tariffs for DSTV, its satellite cable television service providers.

The restraining order was issued in respect of Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/894/18 brought before the court by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in the light of the strong public interest raised in the application.

Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, had granted the authority for the Council to initiate the suit under Section 10 and 16 of the Consumer Protection Council Act, Cap c25, LFN 2004.

In his order, the judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, said the interim injunction restrains Multichoice Nigeria or its agents and representatives from continuing the implementation of any increase in subscription rates or price review policy imposing increased charges and costs on the consumers pending the determination of the motion on notice.

Besides, the court also restrained DSTV from further carrying on or continuing any conduct or activity which interferes with or has effect of circumventing the outcome of ongoing investigations by the CPC into the company’s compliance or non-compliance with the February 16, 2016 order pending the determination of the motion on notice.

In July, MultiChoice Nigeria announced new monthly subscription rates for the DSTV Premium package from N14,700 to N15,800 (about 7.5 per cent) Compact Plus from N9,900 to N10,650; Compact bouquet from N6,300 to N6,800; Family from N3,800 to N4,000, and Access from N1,900 to N2,000.

The new rates took effect from August 1 this month.

The application was filed by the CPC on behalf of the federal government, with the Director General of the Council, Babatunde Irukera, leading other concerned Nigerians to appear in court for the case.

The application was accompanied with a nine-paragraph statement jointly signed by Messrs Irukera, Abimbola Ojenike, Eme David-Ojugo, Moray Adebayo, Teniola Medupin and Florence Abebe.

The CPC said in the statement that it has constitutional responsibility to protect the welfare and interest of consumers in Nigeria through the instrumentality of the Council.

In the exercise of its statutory mandate, the Council said it was conducting an investigation into DSTV’s compliance with its orders of February 16, 2016 over alleged unfairness, arbitrariness and excessiveness of pricing and billing systems.

Besides, the Council said it was also reviewing other emergent issues relating to whether DSTV‘s business practices and specific conducts were in violation of the law with respect to the rights of consumers in Nigeria.

The Council noted that in the course of its investigation and consultative engagement with the Multichoice Nigeria, DSTV “preemptively and surreptitiously introduced a subscription regime which imposes increased charges and costs on Nigerian Consumers of digital satellite television service with effect from 1st August, 2018”.

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The agency argued that unless the court restrained Multichoice Nigeria, it was afraid DSTV or its representative would continue the implementation of the increased subscription rate.

The action, it pointed out, was capable of “rendering ineffective and nugatory the on-going regulatory investigation which seeks to prevent continuing exploitation of Nigerian consumers through obnoxious and exploitative billing systems and pricing regimes”.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the Defendant/Respondent by itself, agents, representatives, affiliates, officers or privies, howsoever described from continuing the implementation of any increased subscription rate or price review policy imposing increased charges and costs on the consumers of Defendant/Respondent’s services pending the determination of the Plaintiff/Applicant’s Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction filed in this suit,” Mr Dimgba said.

The CPC asked the court to accord the matter accelerated hearing so that the substantive issues raised would be determined and settled definitively and expeditiously.

Consequently, the court adjourned the case to Tuesday, August 28, for hearing.

When contacted, the spokesperson of Multichoice Nigeria Limited, Carole Oghuma, promised to send the company’s reaction to the court order. However, at the time of this publication, the response was yet to come in.

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NBC says FG Soon to Release N30bn for Digital Switch Over Process

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says the Federal Government is working on releasing N30 billion to boost the process of Digital Switch Over (DSO) in the country.

Ishaq Kawu, Director-General of the NBC, disclosed in Lagos on Friday that the money would be released in two batches of N15 billion each.

Kawu said that the money would be repaid from resources that would be realised from the list of frequencies to be auctioned.

He said that the commission had concluded the digital mapping of the country, to ensure effective DSO rollout.

According to him, NBC now has a plan for all the points and locations it is going to have digital transmission facilities, the major population centres in the entire country.

”It is very important because if you look at the demography of Nigeria, the majority of Nigerians for the first time in history, now live in the urban areas.

”And so, what we have decided to do is to look at taking digital broadcasting to all those major population centres.

”In the past, we started with regional roll-out, so we choose a state by geo-political zone, but with a little mapping process we now have all the major population centres.

”So over the next 15 to 25 months, the possibilities are that we are going to be rolling out in these major centres.

”More significantly, we are working on the possibility of bringing the original plan that we have initially and then go to launch in Lagos, Kano and Port-Harcourt.

“So this is a major development,” he added.

Kuwa said that the NBC was in discussion with a company from South Korea concerning the Set Top Boxes (STB) since the past three months.

He said that the company had accepted to come and put facilities in place to produce one million STBs in Nigeria, “so that we can have boxes that will service the rollout in the different locations.’’

According to him, the boxes will be produced by the company that NBC licensed to produce in Nigeria, so they are going to give facilities and then the payment will be after the sale of the boxes.

”In the past, the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in China insisted they are paid before production.

”But now the Koreans are saying, we will give you the facility.

“You produce in Nigeria then you can sell and give us the money. And that is very significant for all the companies because there is not a lot of money for them from the banking system.

”So that makes a major development for us, in terms of being able to rollout in Lagos, Kano as well as in Port-Harcourt, which are the three major population and economic centres in Nigeria.”

The director-general said that there had been the issue of trans-border signal in West Africa, hence, the NBC was rolling out in a way that would not affect other countries.

He said that Nigeria was far ahead of its neigbouring countries around in the rollout of DSO.

 

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ID Cabasa Receives Standing Ovation At Ariya Repete Roundtable Parley

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Top contemporary Nigerian music producer, Idowu Ogunade, popularly known as ID Cabasa, gave an impressive display of brilliance which earned him lots of accolades at the Goldberg Lager organized Ariya Repete roundtable which took place Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

 

The date of the event which is commemorated worldwide as World Cultural and Diversity day also served as the flag off to the 2019 edition of the indigenous Music talent hunt show.

 

The Award winning producer sat among veterans of the Fuji and Juju genres of music such as Dr Saheed Osupa, Sir Shina Peters, Yinka Davis, Alhaji Sikiru Agboola, PMAN executive Tolu Obey, and Afropop star Sound Sultan to discuss the topic “One Culture, One Voice, New Sound.” Cabasa shared deep insights and suggestions of how the older generation and new generation indigenous Yoruba musicians can come together to create a fusion between the past and present in order to secure the future of the genre.

 

The audience which also included members of the press where astonished by the percipience and articulation of the experienced producer who is credited with honing the talent of current Goldberg Ambassador and Nigeria rapper Olamide. ID Cabasa has also produced for other megastars in contemporary Nigerian music including Lord of Ajasa, 9ice, and Reminisce.

 

This year’s ‘Roundtable’, which is an annual discourse heralding the Ariya Repete competition, also served to promote intellectual discussions amongst key stakeholders in the music industry, especially in the Fuji, Juju and now, Afro Hip–Hop genres.

 

With Ariya Repete introducing the Afro-pop to the mix for this year’s edition, you can expect some amazing talents to emerge from the contest.

 

Ariya Repete is proudly sponsored by Goldberg lager, the beer brand renowned for conceptualizing and executing initiatives such as these, which highlights the beauty of tradition and culture. With a wide array of exciting consumer engagement activities that brilliantly connects with its ever-loyal audience, Goldberg continues to remain one of the most authentic brands in the beer industry.

 

Auditions kick-off on the 11th of June, check out Golberg lager official social media page (@Goldberg_ng) for more info.

 

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Sound Sultan, Others Pays Homage To Sir Shina Peters At Ariya Repete Media Parley

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Nigerian Singer, Sound Sultan has heaped praises on Afro-juju crooner, Sir Shina Peters, for the impact and longevity of his career which has spanned over 35 years in the music industry.

 

The ‘Area’ singer was part of the special guest discussants during the Ariya Repete Roundtable discussion held on Tuesday, May 21 in Lagos. Other members of the roundtable panel included  Sir Shina Peters, Dr. Saheed Osupa, Yinka Davis, Nigerian Breweries Corporate Affairs manager Tayo Adelaja, Alhaji Sikiru Agboola, PMAN executive Tolu Obey, and Music producer ID Cabasa.

 

Discussing the topic ‘One Culture, One Voice, New Sound’, Sound Sultan and other members of the panel highlighted the ingenuity of Sir Peters who though sings in the Yoruba language was able to infuse the English language into his music, which ultimately helped his music cross over to the wider and diverse Nigerian audience.

 

Sir Shina Peters has released 19 albums over the course of his career. His ‘Ace “Afro-Juju Series 1’  album of 1989 went double platinum and the veteran musician is still a very active stage performer till date.

 

This year’s ‘Roundtable’, which is an annual discourse heralding the Ariya Repete competition, also served to promote intellectual discussions amongst key stakeholders in the music industry, especially in the Fuji, Juju and now, Afro Hip–Hop genres.

 

With Ariya Repete introducing the Afro-pop to the mix for this year’s edition, you can expect some amazing talents to emerge from the contest.

 

Ariya Repete is proudly sponsored by Goldberg lager, the beer brand renowned for conceptualizing and executing initiatives such as these, which highlights the beauty of tradition and culture. With a wide array of exciting consumer engagement activities that brilliantly connects with its ever-loyal audience, Goldberg continues to remain one of the most authentic brands in the beer industry.

 

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