By Roland Danjuma
Since the world market embrace capitalism as a legitimate means of wealth creation the world has grown into gigantic market unit with Industrial tentacles that have stretched into every aspect of the human existence and has formed the hub of commercialism.
Healthy rivalry in the global market economy has almost hammered the death knell on monopoly. Yes, in plural world of globalization, the only monopoly there can be, is, globalization itself.
With this realisation it becomes what can be described as mischievous arrogance of grandiose megalomania for an individual or conglomerate to harbor the intention to play or leave by the archaic doctrine of monopoly. This brings us headlong to the some competitors market antics and stratagems in the Nigerian satellite television market.
Since a major player incursion into the Nigerian satellite television market in the late 80’s, this conglomerate has enjoyed unfettered monopoly for too long that he has come to erroneously believe it owns the sole right to monopoly in the visual sector in Nigeria. For more than two decades the Nigerians viewing market has been subjected to the vicious malevolence of this demigod which originates from South Africa.
It has grown into a monster of sort calling the shots at will with its wishful changes of terms and charges. It has become a behemoth that feels it can not be challenged or question.
This smacks of the South African arrogance and payback gratitude its companies pay Nigerians. This company at one time owes 100% equity in the satellite television broadcast in Nigeria. The situation became untoward and actually held the country by the jugular.
The conglomerate grew so rich with its acquisition of wealth from monopoly and not offering commiserate satisfaction despite its wide charges. Nigerians groan helplessly because there was no help or alternative to their services.
To break this monopoly, NCC and the Federal government tried a luck worm attempt by allowing the creation of a free competitive satellite television broadcast market which was vehemently oppose with court injunctions and counter overt and covert actions from a known pay television operator. It quickly ran to Hollywood and other producers of tv programmes and bought their copyright to make it impossible to duplicate its feat thereby killing healthy competition.
DSTV takes advantage of the porous and unenforceable laws in Nigeria to perpetuate its hegemony counting on powerful Nigerians on its payroll as shareholders to give it impunity and immunity against the law. It played his fast hand by franchising, as it quickly incorporated pseudo- subsidiary companies to give the impression that the monopoly has been broken. Alas, this is not true as all the new entrants into the satellite broadcast as investigation reveals, are wholly owned by DSTV.
Today, big corporations are breaking up their hegemony and opening up competition, however, the South African conglomerate in Nigeria have conspired to treat the market in Nigeria as their colonial empire
Until Glo Nigeria came on stream, MTN behaved as the only crowned prince. The attitude of South Africans and its companies toward Nigeria is nothing but despicable, milking and fleecing Nigerians as they like.
Perhaps what has to be drummed into the minds of Nigerians is the fact that South Africans have a morbid hatred for Nigerians. This can be seen in what has played out in the business encounter with South African government over the arms deal during President Jonathan’s time when boko haram is ravaging swathe of the north-east of Nigeria. Daily, news come to Nigeria of the ill-treatments being meted out to Nigerians in South Africa, as of last week, another Nigerian was killed in South Africa.
To evaluate the unscrupulous callousness of some competitors in the satellite television market to entrench itself in defiance of good ethical market logic, it has been discovered that with the recent launching of the Telcom Satellite Television (TSTV), a competitor in the market has gone with a whooping sum of 5 million dollars to buy out sole copyright right from producers said to be in agreement with TSTV to air their stations.
This include movies, sports, nature, programs etc. in a bid to stall TSTV from actualizing its dream of making satellite broadcast available and affordable to all Nigerians. It is so far gathered that 27 stations have pulled out from the deal covenanted with TSTV and its network is daily being hacked to disrupt signal and transmission. All of these are clandestinely carried out by hatchet men loyal to a particular satellite television operator, investigation revealed.
This is sad and a very maddening situation in which one of our own with a high noble intention to invest and divest the satellite broadcast will be allowed to be emasculated by in our own land for that matter.
It is in this vein that the federal government and NCC must set the limit and exercise its powers to ensure a free market for all. One satellite television provider must and should not have the monopoly even if it is the first to bring satellite broadcast into Nigeria. This is the bane of globalization. It is either such provider agrees to this mundane truth or the federal government and NCC should refund the license dues it paid, sell off its asset to any buyer who is willing to comply with poly-satellite broadcast market in Nigeria.
It is highly important that the government should properly utilise its security apparatus and agencies to safeguard investment and physical assets across the land.
It is as well that Nigerians can for once show patriotism by rallying round one of their own by massively patronizing TSTV.
For crying out loud, Glo Nigeria is doing well with its market share, MTN Nigeria is equally doing well in its market share. There are other network providers doing equally well. Break the monopoly now because it is Nazism, apartheid and nepotic. Nigerian is a free market where live and let live is the dictum.