Scarcity of set-top boxes hit the market, hoarders charging exorbitant rates
By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Since the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai commissioned the transmitters of Pinnacle Communications in 2018, residents of all nooks and crannies of the state who hitherto relied on exorbitant monthly subscription have been enjoying unlimited clear, uninterrupted TV broadcast from the comfort of their homes.
What was before then an exclusively reserved privilege for the wealthy became accessible to all in the society, as soon as they purchase the set top boxes which costs them only N2,000.
Now, most families can afford what was a luxury of watching top Nigerian broadcast items from television stations across the country, providing an array of variety to choose from.
Those who love entertainment are not disappointed, as there are stations that provide that for them at their finger tips.
News addicts also now get enough dose of hourly updates from TVC News, Channels TV, NTA News 24 and a host of others, while those who love the mix catch their groove from AIT, Galaxy TV, and others.
Pinnacle has changed the game and what its subscribers pay annually is sometimes lesser than they were paying monthly for some other pay-TV providers who took advantage of the monopoly they enjoyed.
A subscriber in Sabon Tasha GRA, Mr. Istifanus James said that he has been rescued from the ‘bondage’ of sourcing for money to pay monthly subscriptions.
“Before now, I get anxious whenever my subscription is due for renewal every month. I feel awful whenever I can’t meet up and my service gets cut off. My wife too at such periods mounts pressure on me until I do the subscription.
“The most annoying part of it is when I come back home and have to go to our neighbours house where she goes to fight boredom,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that he is a news freak and always wants to hook up to Channels Television or TVC.
“I Am happy now that for free I have uninterrupted 24 hours access to my favourite news channels. My wife also spends spare time watching Nigerian movies on dedicated channels on our Free TV,” he added.
Another subscriber from the Hayin Banki axis of Kaduna metropolis, Malam Isa Sani said that he had never used any pay TV before the launch of Pinnacle Communications digital access.
“I hated the idea of monthly payments for television programmes. I instead spent more time listening to radio programmes but now I enjoy television from all over the country at no cost through my Free TV which I just bought. I was told that after this it will cost me N2,000 to recharge it next year. That to me, is good because what I am gaining is far more than that,” he said.
Meanwhile, there are no set-top boxes in the market and boxes are being hoarded by unscrupulous people at very exorbitant cost.
We contacted Pinnacle’s office in Kaduna to find out why but were told that boxes are sold by third-party agents appointed by NBC.
This is a legacy for this government and it should not allow detractors to sabotage it.