Stakeholders in Pay Television Industry have expressed divergent views over pay per view subscription model being advocated by Senate as against monthly subscription.
The operators made their views known at a one-day public hearing organised by Senate adhoc Committee investigating Pay-Television hikes and the call for a pay-per view subscription model in Nigeria.
The senate committee is being chaired by the Senate Deputy Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, and have as members, Senators Michael Nnachi, Suleiman Abdul Kwali, and Abba Moro, who moved the motion for the upper chamber to probe the incessant price hike by cable television operators.
The Chief Executive Officer of TSTV said Cable TV operators could adopt pay per day model to reduce the pains of poor subscribers.
“It is possible to allow subscriber,to chose what they want to see and what they want to watch, and is basically the model, we are doing in in TS-TV .
“Pay per view is mostly defined in the areas of content that are once in while,but I tell can tell you categorically,the same content that are once in a while can actually be expanded to be a daily subscription.
“TS TV as a paid TV, we allow our people to chose the channels they want to watch,so we have about 98 channels on our platform and people are allowed to choose independently, the channels they want to see, and each of this Channels are N3 or N5 naira per day.
“So if you want just 10 channels for your self,you subscribe for those channels.
“The good thing again is that we adopt a wireless system, which is basically one of the concerns of our colleagues in the Pay TV industry and that is what they have failed to do basically.
“The wireless system enables you collect daily and per channel, it can be done, we have over a 100 subscribers, now you are able to select channel according to your needs and you create your own bukaee as you want, pay per view is possible.
“It is not right for people to pay for channels they don’t watch.
“Nigerians are enjoying TS Tv,it will be a good thing if Senate make pay TV operators allow customers chose the channels they want to watch and pay their own bukaee and every channel seen as an independent product
Tunde Aina Chief Operating Officer of Startimes, however said Cable TV operators could adopt pay per day model to ameliorate the pains of poor subscribers.
Echeffe said, “Pay per view is not feasible but we came up with pay per day. We also allow our subscribers to choose the package based on the numbers of channels they wanted to watch. “
On the other hand, the Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr John Ugbe, said several legal and legislative moves made to compel the company to operate per view model did not work because it was not feasible.
“Whilst it may appear to be a noble intent for this Committee to be concerned over the rising cost of subscription services; however, the Pay-Per- View (PPV) model being canvassed by the Committee will not work either to the benefit of the consumer or the industry.
“It would appear that this problem is because of some confusion in understanding the basic definitions and distinctions between some of the existing operational business models in telecommunications and pay-tv broadcasting.
“A pay per view PPV is Not the same, and is Very different from Pay As You Go (PAYG).
“The PPV model allows a subscriber to watch some special one-off events, usually of the high-ticket variety in sports and entertainment, by paying for such events in addition to having an active subscription.
“Pay-As-You-Go, accommodates a metered mode of service, where consumers are billed only for the service they consume and not for a fixed period.
“The desire by this Committee to adopt PPV is further challenged by the nonexistence of any technology that can detect and or determine the viewers are tuned in per time.
“Once it is impossible to have this knowledge, billings based on “per view” become difficult if not almost impossible.
“It is therefore my humble submission to this distinguished committee that due to the nature of content acquisition and technological limitations that PAYG model is not practical for broadcasting and thus is not practiced and basically cannot be implemented anywhere in the world.”
Another stakeholder, Emeka Mba, said the issues of Pay-Per-View(PPV) and Pay-TVpricing, have been the subject of several investigations by the National Assembly, the regulatory agencies and courts in the past.
Mba said in 2015, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, dismissed a suit by two Lagos based legal practitioners, seeking an order for the reversal of MultiChoice price increase.
Abdullahi, chairman of the committee said Senate set up the adhoc panel based on a motion approved at plenary.
He said the motion indicated that various packages of the multichoice bouquet had been increased by 80 per cent in the last five years.
Abdullahi said the development was not in interest of the subscribers especially when a Court had cautioned Multi Choice against carrying out its latest increment introduced on March 30
He assured stakeholders that Senate had not taken a position on the matter,n noting the committee’s report would be based on the memorandum submitted to the panel.
The Leader of the Senate, Ibrahim Gobir, who represented the Senate President, urged the stakeholders to be frank in their presentations so as to enable the Senate come up recommendations that would be in the interest of all.
Sen. Abba Moro, who moved the motion, said he believed that the pay-tv should be considerate in their bouquet.
According to him, the Multi-Choice, operators of DSTV and GOTV, has over two million subscribers.
He said the recurring price increment started since 2009 to date.
“Multi Choice increase prices without recource to the economic reality without adopting the pay-per-view.
“DSTV, GOTV will be reaping Nigerians if they consistently shunned the pay-per-view which could ameliorate the hardship being faced by the subscribers.”
Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to give him the authorization to borrow $8,699,168,559 and €100 million to carryout critical projects across the country.
The president’s request was contained in a letter read at the commencement of plenary on Tuesday by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.
Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the request was part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development.
The letter reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.
“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023.
“The projects cut across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.
“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.
“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.
“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”
Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic
***Plead with Tinubu to restore electricity supply to Niger
The Northern Senators Forum on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of Urgency use his position as Chairman of ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community
They also demanded that Nigeria restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
The senators had in July on the heels of the military forceful take over of the democratically elected government in Niger, cautioned President Tinubu against use of Military power towards tackling the military coup, as they called for diplomatic options.
A communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting which was read by the chairman of the forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauch Central) stated, “The forum on very strong terms condemn the spate of Military intervention in the democratic spaces in the West African subregion.
“The Northern Senators Forum in particular condemns the coup in Niger and urged the military junta in Niger to soften the relationship with the rest of ECOWAS military by setting free President Muhammed Bazoum and his immediate family to freely choose a country of his choice for asylum
They further urged the junta in Niger to bring about a transition time table that will last not more than two years.
They ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community.
“It is important that Nigeriens should not suffer because of the coup that took place just like we have seen what is happening in Gaza
“We ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander in chief of the Armed forces and of course the chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammed Bola Tinubu to as a matter of humanitarian gesture restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
Ningi called on Nigerians and Nigerien to remember that they remain brothers, partners and Africans and above all, we remain human beings
Senate okays 2024-2026 MTEF, FSP as it seeks to probe Tax Waivers from 2015 Till Date
The Senate has approved the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Frame Work (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
The upper legislative chamber also ordered an investigation into all tax waivers from 2015 till date and directed that all waivers not directly linked to non-governmental/non-profit organizations should not be granted.
The Senate observed that before waiver can be approved, there are certain conditions attached, adding that some people have been benefitting from the waiver year in, year out.
Addressing newsmen, shortly after the plenary, the Chairman of the Joint Senate Committees on Finance, Appropriations, National Planning and Foreign Debt, Senator Sani Musa, lamented that so much have been lost to the waiver.
He said: “We can not continue to talk of waiver while we kill our local manufacturers.
What we have today are catels, who are not given back to Nigeria. We will take the bull by the horn.”
He said that the customer told the Senate that the nation lost about N1.3 trillion to waiver, adding that it doesn’t make any economy sense, when waiver is granted, and nothing is gained.
In the report of the Senate Joint Committees, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will borrow N7.8 trillion to fund the 2024 budget of N26 trillion that will be presented to the National Assembly soon.
In the budget, N8.2 trillion is earmarked for debt services.
In the report presented for consideration on the floor of the Senate, Sani Musa revealed that the federal government projected the reduction in inflation from 27.33 % to 21.4% in 2024.
“The total budget for the 2024 will be N26 trillion with N16.9 trillion in retained revenue, N243.6 billion for the sinking fund, the statutory transfer for the budget will be N1.3 trillion, N1.2 trillion. In pension gratuity and retirees benefits.
“The total recurrent (non-debt) of N10.2 trillion, personal cost of MDAs- N4.49 trillion, capital expenditure (exclusive of transfers ) -N5.9 trillion, special Intervention (recurrent)- N200 billion and special Intervention capital -N7 billion comprise the.aggregate of Federal government expenditure of N26 trillion,” the report said.
The report further reads: “Following the criteria in the overview of the framework for revenues and expenses, which forms the basis of the 2024 FGN budget FGN proposed spending N26 trillion, of which N16.9 trillion was retained, new borrowings of N7.8 trillion (including borrowing from foreign and domestic), debt service to revenue ratio of 49%, pension, gratuities, and retiree benefits of N12 trillion, and a fiscal deficit of N9 trillion (including GOES)
“The projected N16.96 trillion revenues to the federal government for the 2024 fiscal year is attainable with effective revenue monitoring exercise and oversight by the relevant Committees of the National Assembly
“The projected fiscal deficit of N9.048 trillion, N10.02 and N11.48 proposed for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 fiscal years are 22%, 13.6% and 1% lower than the N11 6 trillion fiscal deficit for the year 2023. The proposed strategy for the government in 2024 towards deficit financing is to increase funding from privatization proceeds and foreign borrowing and reduce funding from multilateral and bilateral project- tied loans and domestic borrowing
“The Federal Government’s commitments to progressively restructure its debt portfolio towards achieving a balanced domestic-to-external debt ratio is evident in the 2024-2026 MTEF and FSP
“A significant number of the Federal Government’s Revenue- Generating Agencies engaged in arbitrary, frivolous, and extra-budgetary expenditure.”
The oil bemcark is pegged at $73.6 per barrel with daily production of 1.78 million barrel per day with an exchange rate of N700 to $1 .
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