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TARIFF: Senate president warns Multichoice against hike

Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President has warned Multichoice Nigeria against implementing a hike in tariff on its products while the matter is being investigated by the national assembly.

Technocrat Media, Abuja

Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President has warned Multichoice Nigeria against implementing a hike in tariff on its products while the matter is being investigated by the national assembly.

According to NAN, he gave the warning on Tuesday in Abuja while inaugurating a seven-member Ad hoc Committee of the Senate headed by the Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, investigating circumstances around the proposed hike.

Mr Lawan urged the Pay-TV to stay in action by not increasing the tariff.

“No increase. And that is to say, don’t dare our country. No increase in tariffs,” he cautioned.

He warned that no foreign operators in the country should take Nigeria for granted.

TECHNOCRAT MEDIA had reported that the Senate had set up the committee on Wednesday, March 30, following an announcement of a tariff hike by the Multichoice Pay Tv service provider, DStv, and GOtv.

However, the Senate president officially inaugurated the committee on Tuesday, April 12.

Mr Lawan said, “No operator should take us for granted. We mean business. We want you to be here. Nigeria always provides the climate for you to do your businesses, but don’t abuse the laws of our country.”

“Our consumers here are people who are innocent and we are prepared to protect them.”

“When the legitimate interests of our people are threatened, we are supposed to ensure that we protect them.”

“It has been the practice of many companies, especially foreign companies, operating in Nigeria to treat the Nigerian consumers of their products in a different way and manner that is not consistent with global best practices.”

The leader of the national assembly urged members of the committee to deliver their assignment with a very clear mind.

“The Consumer Protection Council and other agencies of government and even non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations are supposed to attend this kind of investigation,” he said.

“We need to know what roles actually such government institutions established for the purposes of protecting Nigerian consumers perform. What are their problems if they are not doing well.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Abdullahi, said an investigation into the activities of the Pay-Tv service providers was long overdue as their activities, over time had ripped Nigerians off their hard-earned incomes.

“It is mind-boggling that barely two years after a price hike by Multichoice, which was followed by a big uproar by Nigerians, comes another unexpected increment without proper consultation with critical stakeholders.

“This incessant hike in tariff without recourse to constituted authorities is a thing of great concern that calls for questioning.

“This investigation is an opportunity to right the wrongs and brings these service providers to operate within the confines of the law as obtainable outside the shores of the country,” Mr Lawan noted.

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