The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) on Thursday said it destroyed pirated broadcast equipment estimated at about N4.5 million in Delta.
Mr Augustine Amodu, the Director of Enforcement in NCC, told newsmen in Warri that the materials were destroyed in Delta Steel Company (DSC) in Township area of Udu Local Government Area of Delta.
He said the items included cables and boosters used by the perpetrators to connect most buildings in Township area to a central decoder belonging to Multichoice Company.
“Piracy is high in Warri and environs, especially the broadcast where we have the house-to-house wiring.
“The residents bypass DSTV and pay directly to the perpetrators at the detriment of the original service provider.
The house-to-house wiring is a cankerworm that is biting deep into the fabric of the broadcast.
“You buy a decoder from a paid TV and wire over 200 houses then collect about N2000 as monthly due from the people for the illegality; it is wrong.
“Warri is a hub of broadcast piracy where people do not want to pay the correct bouquet, they want outlets to do the wrong thing,” he said.
He, however, warned the perpetrators to desist from the illicit act, stressing that there would be no hiding place for them.
Almost every household in the community is connected to the central decoder provided by the perpetrators of the piracy.
Most of the residents looked frustrated when the NCC officials accompanied with armed mobile policemen destroyed the materials.
However, some residents who spoke with newsmen urged the Federal Government to prevail on Multichoice management to reduce its high subscription fees.
Mrs Aluya Doris said that the high subscription fees encouraged the illegality.
As soon as your subscription expires and you do not pay immediately, DSTV will disconnect and you have to pay N3000 before they will reconnect you.
“So, most of us now go for the cheaper one so that at the end of the day, we still get information about what is happening in the country for just a little amount.
“If government can prevail on DSTV to reduce its tariff, it will be better,’’ she said.
Another resident, retired Sgt. Kojo Tautongha, expressed disappointment at the action of the NCC, saying that he paid N800 monthly for the illegal connection.
Two Gotv decoders were given out to residents for non involvement in the illegal act.
Mr Austin Ngerem, one of beneficiaries, described the action of the perpetrators as criminal.
I don’t partake in activities like this because my conscience will condemn me as a Christian.
“I am a business man; I cannot destroy another man’s business. If it happens to me I won’t be happy,’’ he said.