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Reps summon DSTV over tariff hike

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The House of Representatives has , again, summoned the management of DSTV over increment of the cable television ’ s subscription tariffs on June 1 .
The House Ad Hoc Committee Investigating the Non-Implementation of ‘ Pay As You Go ’ Tariff by Satellite Broadcast Service Providers issued the summons, asking DSTV , owned by South Africa -based Multichoice, to appear before it next Tuesday .
At its investigative hearing in Abuja on Tuesday , the committee gave StarTimes two weeks to review its subscription fees to reflect the current new 7 .5 per cent Value Added Tax .
StarTimes , which is domiciled with the Federal Government owned Nigerian Television Authority , had increased its subscription rates by 30 per cent , claiming VAT increment and increase in number of channels provided .
The committee, however, faulted the claim .
Chairman of the committee, Mr Uyime Idem , said the directive was to allow Startimes to have a tariff that reflect the current economic realities , including the VAT and exchange rate .
The lawmakers decried that the tariff hike came at a time when Nigerians were suffering serious economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The management of Startimes , however, justified the increment .
The Chief Operating Officer , Startimes , Mr Tunde Aina , said, “ The organisation is currently operating the ‘pay as you watch ’ tariff to meet the aspirations of a section of the Nigerian society , who are sparsely at home all day , all week , all month and all year round. ”
Aina also explained that the increment was to enable Startimes offset extra costs incurred in the cause of its operations , occasioned by high exchange rates in the acquisition of equipment outside Nigeria as well in power generation to run its operatio

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