Multichoice, NBC increase price of products; Customers frown

Effective May 1, millions of Digital Satellite Television (DStv) subscribers in the country would pay more as the owners, Multichoice, effects a price increase across all packages.Multichoice, yesterday, sent out text messages informing its teeming subscribers to expect an price hike effective May 1, 2017.This increase has not come at the best times at all, considering the economic recession still biting very hard.Investigations showed that the South African PayTV firm has about 10.4 million subscribers in 50 African states, with Nigeria home to about four million of them as at 2016. In a statement made available to news men and signed by its Public Relations Manager, Caroline Oghuma, with the title: “DStv Price Changes”, MultiChoice defended the decision to adjust prices of all packages. She explained that the adjustment was made after careful consideration of the market and review of its business operations.The Managing Director of Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, was quoted to have said: “We announced last year that we would do everything possible to hold the price barring any extreme factors. However, all our content is purchased in dollars and although we have done everything possible to hold the prices even with the price of everything else going up, we are now left with no choice but to adjust our subscription prices from May 1.“Our key priority is to put subscribers’ needs at the heart of everything we do and therefore, in determining the price adjustment, we took into account many factors including, the impact on the customer, current inflation which stands at 19 per cent, programming costs and efficiencies within the company. Please be assured that we have worked really hard to keep this year’s fees manageable.”A subscriber, Lanre Ogundeyi, said while most Nigerians suffered in silence, foreign companies like Multichoice ripped them off their hard earned money.“At a time the economy is bleeding, when most people cannot get three meals per day, they are increasing their fees. I think we should jettison their services. We shall look for a better competitor, which is more reasonable”, he said.To an Abuja based customer, Fidelis Duru, “the company has passion for fleecing Nigerians without value for their money. Despite the current economic recession, several Nigerians still renew their subscription and the reward they could get from Multichoice is to increase subscriptions again.”The development came after Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Plc, on April 1st, announced the third increase in prices of its products in less than four months.Although, stakeholders in the industry noted that the rise in the price of the commodities may not be unconnected with the rise in the price of sugar in the United States, the hub of production of Coca-Cola, as there is still heavy reliance on importation of raw sugar for local refining.

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