– The Sun News

Group accuses  DSTV, StarTimes, others of exploiting masses

…May sue NCC

From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

A rights group, People Against Corruption and Injustice (PACI), has protested against what it termed ‘arbitrary and exorbitant’ charges by cable TV service providers in Nigeria.

The protesters, who took their protest round major streets of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, who later converged on the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat located at Oke-Ilewo area, alleged that DSTV, StarTimes and others have been exploiting the Nigerian masses.

Meanwhile, two of the protesters later died when the vehicle they were traveling in involved in auto crash along  Sango-Abeokuta express road.

Solomon said the incident occurred as a result of brake failure.

PACI was later joined by Human and Consumer Rights  Advocacy Centre and Campaign Against Impunity and Domestic Violence, also condemned the services rendered by cable networks in the country insisting it was as a form of exploitation and corruption.

Addressing newsmen, PACI coordinator, Bankole Solomon, accused the Pay TV providers of charging the masses exorbitantly  for their subscriptions.

He equally accused the government of not doing enough to compel the cable TV operators to operate on pay-per-view basis.

Solomon further disclosed that the group had written a letter to the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) on the issues, but nothing had been done till now.

He, therefore, declared that should the NCC fail to act on the issue, the group would sue the Commission.

“We are here to register our anger and discomfort of what is happening in the system. We are protesting against the bad policies of cable networks. The DStv, GOtv and Startimes are exploiting us. As we speak, our families are not at home, yet, the card is reading. Even when there is no signal or rain falls or the decoder gets spoilt, the subscription is running.

“They cannot continue to exploit us. We have been to South Africa and other European countries where they do pay-per-view. You pay for what you watch. We are saying enough is enough. We are also saying that all the local stations should be free on these cable network and not Chinese stations that we don’t understand. So we are here to register our anger that enough is enough for this exploitation. They cannot continually limit our own local station in promoting their stations. They are exploiting us.

“We have written to the NCC but they are not ready to listen to us. We have written to them and what they said is that they are working on it and yet our money is going down daily. We are saying enough is enough and we are protesting. We are going to court to seek court injunction on it. We are suing NCC and all cable networks in Nigeria,” Solomon stated.


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