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FG Asks Multichoice To Suspend DSTV, Gotv Price Increase

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images 2020 08 27T112422.698 FG Asks Multichoice To Suspend DSTV, Gotv Price Increase

The Federal Government has asked Mul­tiChoice to suspend its planned increase in tariff which will take effect from September 1, saying it is hostile to Nigerians who are currently going through harsh economic conditions, Daily Independent reports.
The government also said the company did not consult with it before the decision was made, saying it only read about the increase in the media like every other Nigerian.
MultiChoice had, last week, announced increment in the prices of DStv and GOtv subscriptions for the second time in less than four months.
Giving reasons for its upward review of prices, the company cited factors such as inflation, operations, the mandatory increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), and devaluation of the naira.
The company, in a statement to subscribers, said that from Tuesday, September 1, 2020, MultiChoice would effect its new price regime as follows: DSTV Premium will move from N16, 200 to N18, 400; Compact Plus from N10, 925 to N12, 400; Compact from 6,975 to 7,900, and for users of GOtv Max, they will have to pay the sum N3, 600 from 3,280.
One of the texts read: “Dear customer, please be advised of a price adjustment on your DStv Premium package from September 1. Your new monthly subscription will be N18, 400.”
Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent, Armstrong Idachaba, the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), said while it had written to MultiChoice to suspend the tariff, it had also fixed a meeting with their management for Monday to discuss the rationale behind the increases.
“In business, especially in a liberal economy, market operators try to fix their prices according to the dictates of the market.
However, it is the job of the regulator to ensure that whatever services are offered meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people in a way that consumers are protected.
“With regards to broadcasting, there is nowhere in the Act of the commission which gives us the power to fix prices. I am told but have not con­firmed that the Telecommunications Act gives the telecom regulator, the NCC, the power to determine prices.”
Speaking further, he said while the NBC does not have the powers to fix prices for the operators, it has the powers to call them to order if it discovers that they are exploiting Nigerians.
He explains: “We have no provision to regulate the prices that those who offer broadcast services fix but if, in the course of fixing prices, we find out that it is very exploitative and injurious to the consumers, we have the power to call them to order, which we have done severally”.
“On many occasions, we have told them not to increase the price or suspend price increase. But usually the argument they give is that there are fluctuations in the value of the naira.
“Before the latest increase, there was an increase but they said it was due to the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT). So, they added the new VAT rates to their existing charges.
“Even at that time, we were at the National Assembly when the House of Reps requested that they should revert to the old prices which we directed them but they said if they had to do that, then they would not be paying VAT”.
“We are therefore surprised that without further consultation, immediately after that, they now announced a price increase citing prevailing fluctuations in the economy, value of the naira, and cost of doing business.
“We have written to them today because they didn’t consult with us before they did that. We only read it in the news.
“It is only today that they forwarded a corresponding letter to us, meaning that they have taken their decisions but are merely notifying us.”
He said aside from MultiChoice, StarTimes’ management had also been summoned to explain why they decided on price increases at a time Nigerians are going through tough times.
“We have told them to suspend it until we meet them. We are meeting with them next week Monday. They and StarTimes will have to come and explain to us why they have to increase prices at this time that Nigeria is going through economic challenges”.
“I think it is hostile to the interest of the consumers. Our final positions will be known when we meet with them Monday”.

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N392bn projects debt: Senate asks FG to consider pension fund

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images 97 1 N392bn projects debt: Senate asks FG to consider pension fund

The Minister of Works and Housing , Babatunde Fashola , on Wednesday , told the Senate that the Federal Government owe construction firms handling 711 road projects across the country N 392 bn .
The debt , according to the minister , was higher than the N 276 bn , proposed as budgetary allocation for road projects in 2021 .
Fashola who stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while defending the 2021 budget of his ministry before the Senate Committee on Works .
He said, “ With the situation on ground , a stop has come for new projects and the country needs to prioritise the existing ones in order to complete some of them .”
He said N 6 . 62 tn was needed by the Federal Government to fund the 711 road projects across the country .
The minister , however , said the resources to achieve that were not available now , hence the need to prioritise the very important ones .
He said, “ We do not have the resources that we need to fix our road infrastructure at once ; the very reason we need to prioritise what want to do .
“ The situation on ground requires us to cut our coat according to our cloth and not according to our size because no good will come out of more new road projects now .”
He however explained to the committee that in order to remedy the situation , the 711 projects had been categorised into four different areas of funding and execution.
The first category , he said, was the highway projects financed with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.
The projects, he said , covered projects such as Lagos – Shagamu – Ibadan dual carriage way , the 2 nd Niger Bridge and the rehabilitation of Abuja – Kaduna-Kano dual carriage way.
The second category , according to the minister , are highways projects financed with the Sovereign Sukuk Fund totalling 44 roads across the six geopolitical zones .
Fashola said the third category included the highways project financed under the tax credit like the Lokoja-Obajana -Kabba – Ilorin road , Apapa -Wharf Road in Lagos and the Apapa -Oworonsoki – Ojota Expressway , among others .
Those in the fourth category he stated are highways projects funded from multilateral loans .
The Chairman of the Committee , Senator Adamu Aliero, suggested to the minister to look into pension funds for some of the road projects.
He said, “ In view of the scarce resources and poor revenue generation which the country is currently facing , I think the ministry could consider applying for funds from the PenCom funds. ”
Fashola , however, said he said he was not in a position to do that .
He said, “ The Central Bank of Nigeria seems to be in the best position to work out such arrangement.
“ It will be helpful if that type of funding can be put together , ” he said.
Aliero , however, said the fact was that the budgetary allocation to the ministry and its agencies remained one of the highest , but was like a drop of water in the ocean .
“ This is because of the humongous work to be done on Nigerian roads and the current debt profile of the ministry which is about N 392 bn ,” he said.

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ALTON apologises for network disruption

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images 95 1 ALTON apologises for network disruption

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria has apologised to subscribers for network outages in some part of the country .
The Association in a statement on Wednesday attributed the network disruption that still subsists as of the time of filing this report to power cuts and operations -related issues .
According to ALTON, network disruption is not intentional .
The statement said, “ The outages have been compounded by power and other operations -related issues that have occurred across some major routes in Lagos metropolis and other states resulting in congestion of networks and impact on quality of services .”
The association said movement restrictions and the volatility on the streets had compounded the restoration of outages because engineers had not been able to move about to fix the problems .
It added , “ At the moment, affected member operators are exploiting all avenues to remedy the situation . Engineers are making relentless effort round the clock to resolve issues , while in the interim, efforts are being made to optimise coverage utilising alternative solutions as a stop -gap solution to the most impacted locations.
“ We appeal to subscribers to please bear with us and be patient . Let us remember that we need both voice and data communication especially at this critical time . ”
The association appealed to people at the barricades to grant access to telecoms engineers to be able to access the affected locations to restore telecom services .
It expressed regret over recent incidents of violence across the country as well as destruction of lives and properties.

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I Didn’ t Reject Your Offer Of Renovating My Palace, Soun Tells Makinde

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Pic 30 condolence visit I Didn’ t Reject Your Offer Of Renovating My Palace, Soun Tells Makinde

The Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, has denied the content of a letter purportedly authorised by him, which rejected the financial contribution of the Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in the planned renovation of the monarch’s palace vandalised by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest on October 10.
The Soun, who spoke with the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, said that he did not authorise the said letter in circulation.
Adisa disclosed to Governor’s Office correspondents, quoting the monarch: “If your boss sees any such letter, he should ignore it, because I didn’t ask anyone to write such a letter.”
“The Soun said that he never authorised anyone to issue a letter on his behalf and that if any such letter surfaces, some persons must have forged his signature.”
“The Soun said he wholeheartedly welcomes the intervention of Governor Seyi Makinde in the plan to fix the palace and all the damaged items.”
The purported letter claimed the monarch said the damages incurred during the unfortunate incident would be taken care of by a coordinated community effort of Ogbomoso sons and daughters.
The letter further added that a N10m released by the governor would be added to the contributions of his subjects, while it allegedly quoted the monarch saying there was no need to disburse the balance of the sum of N90m.

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