By FEMI ADEOTI
You do not spare a monster. That would be risky and monstrous. So? At the slightest opportunity you kill it. You dare not give such a demon a chance.
We did it before. And it was a huge success. We are encouraged to do it again. It was the battle of our life. But we won and we are better
for it ever since.
Great kudos to Globacom, aka Glo. It led the pack in rare audacity. It risked everything and stuck its neck out. It could have been consumed in the process but it cared less. Glo spearheaded the fight. And it was a sweet victory with pleasant history today. We are no strangers to this kind of gang-up and exploitation. We have had many of such
nonsense in the past.See the miracle Glo did for us in 2003. The GSM operators before it,
MTN and Econet, were greedily operating the regime of per-minute billing (PMB) and milking us. They were smiling to the bank every
minute, while we groaned in pain. MTN and Econet are aliens from South
But our own Glo came and studied the environment. It was pained by our
pain and was determined to end our sorrow. It wisely opted for per-second billing (PSB). We immediately jumped for joy. We clapped.
MTN and Econet had given us false impressions. They painted a picture
of the impossibility for PSB. They argued that it would take them at least two more years before they could successfully migrate to PSB.
Glo made a complete mess of that. It rubbished that unintelligent argument to the dustbin.
Glo was resolute to halt the rip-off
exhibited by the two Shylock foreign GSM operators. On August 22, 2003, against all principalities and powers of darkness,
Glo proudly walked its talk; with its shoulders high. In an unprecedented bang, it launched its much-expected PSB. And it sticks
This threw MTN and Econet off balance. They could not believe an indigenous firm could be so daring, fearless and with unusual guts.
They became utterly confused. They went back to their ugly drawing boards. Their false claims were punctured effortlessly by Glo. What they lied would take them two years to accomplish was achieved within seconds by Glo.
We wonder aloud, how did it happen? What did Glo do that those before it did not know how to do? MTN and Econet were speedily losing face
and fortunes. No more loot, no more pillage and no more plunder.
They were forced to give up their old ways of doing things. Econet was the first to see the foolishness in its former way. It abandoned its
PMB for PSB on November 26, 2003.
MTN was left in the cold all alone. Wisely, though belated, it jettisoned its own on December 1, 2003. That was how their unholy
monopoly ended. For that alone, we remain eternally grateful to Glo.
Imagine what they could not do in their South African home country, they had the effrontery to flaunt here in Nigeria. Wicked! Do you
really blame them? Nigeria is a free market of sorts. It was like a grand international conspiracy. They had tagged us “Territory 70,” that is, Nigeria’s commercial market. Very lucrative and, perhaps, where anything goes, no control, no order. MTN and Econet adequately feasted on that. They made maximum gain out of thehuge lapse.
Now, we have other irritants and irritations to contend with. Thistime around, they are in a league. They pretend to be cable television
service providers. We have become mere preys in their careless hands. The roll-call? It is in legion, almost endless. You would marvel.
They are, but not limited to: DSTV, GOtv, TSTV, StarTimes, MYtv, Kwese TV, Daarsat, HiTV, Comsat, CTL, Metro Digital, Africa Cable Television (ACTV) and Montage Cable Network.
Many of them had disgusting history behind them. At least, HiTV andTSTV attempted to stand out. But they were never allowed to breathe by the foreign so-called giant providers.
It all started in 1996 when DSTV made its debut in Nigeria. It came as a joint venture between MultiChoice Africa and Adewunmi Ogunsanya.
Since then, it maintained a reckless monopoly as a cable televisionservice provider. That prompted it to be arrogant and careless in
handling Nigerian customers.
It is a longtime tussle with these unrepentant and heartless foreign providers. DSTV remains the wild and eerie constant decimal. And it is
ruthless about it. It is always at the forefront, running monthly pay regime instead of pay-as-you-view. And that is what DSTV operates in
its home country, South Africa. We won’t allow that to happen again. Glo did it for us in 2003. We detest it, not after our nightmare experience with MTN and Econet. Time is now. We should display the hard stuff we are made of to these
countries. We irresponsibly allow them to make a mess of us unchallenged, unabated. See what is happening to what is left of our image in Ghana. That must stop forthwith!
They are an excruciating pain in our fragile necks. We agonize while
they laugh lavishly to the bank. They force their viewers into a monthly regime of subscription. They care less about the conditions of
viewing. The quality of their service and availability do not matter. They arrogantly refused to subscribe their customers to
pay-as-you-view (PAYV). When you pay the monthly due, services become
erratic when rain falls. Where there is no electricity, you have to power your generating set, if any, to enjoy what you have paid to
enjoy. The greatest absurdity: When you don’t even put on your television,
you are paying. You are made to pay for dormant viewing. In 2017, TSTV put up a bold challenge. It planned to do the unthinkable; to roll out a pay-as-you-consume model for its customers.
This would also allow one to browse contents from Twitter, Facebook, news, weather, video on-demand sites, etc.Swiftly, an identified foreign provider ran the Nigerian rival
aground. It applied all its might, power and strength. And TSTV almost became history.
Ten years before TSTV was HiTV. It actually came on board on February 1, 2007. It had its headquarters at Ebute-Metta, Lagos, and was owned by Toyin Subair, a lawyer.
We were celebrating a relief and reprieve at its birth. But the same identified provider applied its sledged hammer again. HiTV was never
allowed to breathe beyond November 21, 2011.
It was a cut-throat and uneven competition. The “giant” providerclearly had the undue advantage. It latched on the monopoly unleashed on Nigerians by our own National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). And
life was snuffed out of HiTV and TSTV.
Certainly, NBC made the job easy for these aliens. That is why we were
so glad our lawmakers came on board. They took serious notice of the shenanigans and were resolute to bring them to their knees.
Promptly, the House of Representatives raised an Ad Hoc Committeechaired by Unyime Idem. It specifically ordered DSTV and others to
migrate to pay-as-you-view regime. NBC was to ensure strict complianceand with immediate effect.
That order is the impetus we dearly need against these providers. Itis the required stimulus. The moving force to see us through this struggle. We must keep an eagle eye on these legislators. They must not derail.
That would be treacherous. There must be no compromise of any form. Arise let us shame these monsters of our time. Let us destroy thembefore they ruin us. We are able. In togetherness, we can.