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Nigeria Fines MultiChoice, Orders Free Service For Subscribers

THE Nigerian consumer tribunal fined the local unit of Africa’s largest pay-TV company, MultiChoice Group, 150 million naira ($107,142.86) on Friday for contempt of court. The tribunal also ordered the company to offer its subscribers one month of free service.

MultiChoice, which operates DSTV and GOTV services in Nigeria, increased subscription rates by nearly 25 percent in May, leading to widespread complaints from subscribers. The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT) made this decision following a lawsuit filed by subscriber Festus Onifade in April. Onifade argued that MultiChoice’s eight-day notice before the price hike was insufficient.


The CCPT had previously restrained MultiChoice from raising prices on April 29, but the company defied this order and proceeded with the increase, challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

On Friday, the tribunal, led by Justice Thomas Okosu, asserted its authority over consumer rights cases and imposed the fine on MultiChoice for ignoring its order to halt the price increase. ‘The tribunal has the authority to protect consumer rights, and defiance of our orders will not be tolerated,’ said Justice Okosu.

MultiChoice did not immediately respond to a request for comments, and its lawyers have not yet indicated whether they will appeal the ruling.

This ruling emphasises the tribunal’s commitment to enforcing consumer protection laws and ensuring that companies adhere to fair practices. Subscribers are now set to receive one month of free service as compensation for the abrupt price hike.

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