Residents of Warri, Delta State, have justified the illegal tapping of broadcast signals belonging to Multichoice Limited, a satellite television service provider.
This follows the decision of the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) to destroy some pirated broadcast equipment operating illegally in the area.
Items destroyed amounted to about N4.5 million and include cable and boosters used by the perpetrators to connect almost the whole buildings in township and environs to a central decoder belonging to multichoice.
They called on the company to either reduce the prices of their various bouquets or face the option of living with the illegal operators.
However, during the operation, Mr. Augustine Amodu, who is the Director of Enforcement in (NCC) stated that the destroyed materials were mostly found in Delta State Company (DSC), Township, and Udu Local Government area of the state.
Accompanied with armed mobile policemen and other security agents while destroying the materials, they simultaneously moved from one house to another and one street to another, pulling down the cables and cutting them into smaller pieces with pliers and saw.
Mrs. Aluya Doris who was full of disappointment over the destruction of the service equipment, said that the high subscription fee by the service provider encouraged the people to seek a cheaper alternative.
In her words, “As soon as your subscription expires and you do not respond with immediate payment, DSTV will immediately disconnect you and you have to pay high fee before you are connected back.
“So, most of us now decide to go for the cheaper ones so that at the end of the day we still get viable information for what is happening in our society and Nigeria at large for just a token amount. If the government can prevail on DSTV to reduce their tariff, it will be encouraging.”
Sgt. Kojo Tautongha (rtd) who frowned at the exercise said he paid less than a N1000.00 monthly to illegal service provider and get what he wants, calling on the company to find a way to work together with the illegal dealers so as to make the service available to the average Nigerian.
Mrs. Eruoto Ruth, who is a resident in Warri, was of the opinion that DSTV should provide a bouquet that the common Nigerian would enjoy at a subsidized rate with every news channels working perfectly because a person that is not informed is totally deformed.
Other residents who spoke, urged the Federal Government to prevail on Multichoice (DSTV) Management to reduce their monthly subscription fee to eliminate the theft of their company signals by illegal operators, maintaining that only the rich that can afford to get access to DSTV now.