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Market Digest Nigeria

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Customers complain as Multichoice implements tariff increase June 1

Subscribers to DStv and GOtv services yesterday deplored the plan by the parent company, Multichoice, to implement the 7.5 per cent hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) from June 1, 2020.

The announcement via text messages to customers had barely landed than Nigerians took to their social media platforms to ventilate their anger.

Checks on the DStv site showed that Premium subscribers, who have been paying N15, 800 should prepare to pay N16, 200; Compact Plus subscribers will now pay N10, 925 instead of N10,650. Those on Compact will pay N6,975 as against the previous N6,800.

Furthermore, customers on Confam bouquet will pay N4,615 against N4,500, while those on Yanga will from June 1 be made to pay N2,565, against the N2,500 previous payment. Those on Padi bouquet will pay addition N50 to put the price at N1,850.
A subscriber with the Twitter handle @masterade3933 wrote: “Dear @GOtvNg @DStvNg please what is the meaning of this text I got from you, 7.5% VAT on what? You gat nothing to offer us in this country.”

Another, Nadine, @thenubiancook, said: “Dstv your timing is insensitive as usual, you can accommodate the extra 2.5% increase for now. 7.5% VAT is a government directive but how about being customer centric? You have also refused to offer flexibility! Pay as you watch or something…”

Emir of Ibadanland with the handle@Sokidwest, noted: “7.5% VAT” please @GOtvNg at which of your offices in Ibadan can I return my decoder? I no do again.

A twitter handle of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, @GovAyoFayose, asserted: “Nigerians have been at home since the beginning of this CCOVID-19 pandemic, even now that the lockdown is relaxed, causing increase in data usage. Govt will be kind enough to prevail on networks and cable TV providers to reduce their tariffs to support Nigerians at this time.”

The Pay TV firm had said: “Dear customer, please be informed that effective June 1, 2020, we will implement 7.5 per cent VAT on all DStv services. Visit www.dstvafrica.com to see your new pricing.”

Invariably, the company is saying that it could not shoulder the 2.5 per cent increase in VAT (from five to 7.5 per cent) which was made legal following the signing of the 2019 Finance Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Guardian learnt that Multichoice has about 13.9 million subscribers across Africa, with Nigeria accounting for 40 per cent of the customers.

In the mean time, about 1.41 million new telecoms subscribers have been added to the networks in Nigeria.

The additions took place between January and February this year.

By this development, active telecoms subscribers increased from 186 million to 187.4 million.

According to the latest subscriber statistics released yesterday by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the subscription resulted in 0.74 per cent leap in the country’s teledensity, which rose from 97.45 in January to 98.19 per cent a month after.

Telephone density or teledensity is the number of telephone connections for every 100 individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country.

Telephone density has significant correlation with the per capita GDP of the area. It is also used as an indicator of the purchasing power of the middle class of a nation or specific region.

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