By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Pay television giant, Multichoice Nigeria Limited, has increased its tariffs and cost of products and services despite a restraining order by the Competition and Consumer Protection (CCP) tribunal sitting in Abuja.
Recall that Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DStv and GOtv had in March announced that it would increase the subscription fees for its services across board with effect from April 1.
But the CCP tribunal presided over by Thomas Okosun, had few weeks ago restrained the company from going ahead with the planned increment following an ex-parte motion filed by Festus Onifade, a legal practitioner, on behalf of himself and Coalition of Nigeria Consumers. Multichoice Nigeria Limited and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) are 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.
The ex-parte motion filed by the applicant was brought pursuant to Section 39 (1) & (2) of FCCPC Act 2018; Order 26, Rule 5 (2), (3) & 26 Rule 6 (1) & (2) Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and Section 47(a), (b), (c),(d), of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018.
The applicants had prayed for “an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st defendants/respondents, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariffs and cost of its products and services intended to take effect from 1st April, 2022, until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed before this tribunal.
“An order of the Honourable Tribunal mandating the 1st defendant/respondents to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
“And for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Tribunal may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”
The tribunal in its ruling ordered Multichoice Nigeria Limited to stop the planned hike in tariffs and cost of its products and services pending the hearing and determination of the motion.
However, checks by Newspeakonline on Thursday, showed that GOtv Jolli which goes for N2,460 before the announcement is now N2,800.
Highlights of new rates announced by Multichoice include;
DStv Premium package (N21,000); Compact + (N14,250); Compact (N9,000); Confam (N5,300); Yanga (N2,950); Padi (N2,150); Business (N2,669), Xtraview + PVR access fee (N2,900)
Gotv Max (N4,150); GOtv Jolli (N2,800); GOtv Jinja (N1,900); GOtv Lite (N900).
But the FCCPC recently disclosed that it is engaging MultiChoice Nigeria for clarity on the planned increase in subscription fee across all bouquets for its DStv and GOtv services.
The vice chairman of the commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, pointed out that its engagement with the pay-television company is to find out if the company implemented a change in terms and conditions in line with the commission’s mandated steps.