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PAYG: Exposing The Six Lies Lai Mohammed Told The National Assembly



PAYG: Exposing The Six Lies Lai Mohammed Told The National Assembly

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, appeared before the National Assembly to make a case for the pay-as-you-go .

He told them he wants pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model introduced in Nigeria’s pay television industry.

By the minister’s definition, PAYG is a model that: offers a daily, weekly, bi-monthly or such other limited duration;  allows the subscriber to pick and choose channels or content priced either individually or on a small themed bouquet, such as a sports package; and gives subscriber the latitude to view at any point in time.

He insisted that the two major pay television platforms in Nigeria, MultiChoice and StarTimes can introduce the PAYG model to exist side-by-side with their normal billing model.

Lai Mohammed went ahead to say the PAYG model has become necessary to provide an affordable option for poor Nigerians, reduce money spent on subscription even when the service is not used due to the erratic nature of power supply in the country.

Lai Mohammed also added that the United States and United Kingdom already operate PAYG services at affordable rated for their residents.

However, a fact-check done by TheCable shows that his claims are false.

Read the fact-check below:


The minister said the clamour for the abolition of monthly billing system and the introduction of a PAYG plan has become necessary because of epileptic power supply in Nigeria, thus “hindering the viewer satisfaction and access to the services provided”.

FINDING: True. The power infrastructure in Nigeria has been a major issue for decades. Many homes are powered by generators. The minister’s argument that subscribers will enjoy satisfaction if they watch only when they have power or when they are at home, however, does not countenance the fact that when Pay TV operators are bidding for broadcast rights for programmes running into millions of dollars, the content owners do not factor the erratic power supply in Nigeria into the pricing.


The experience in Nigeria’s telcoms industry, according to Mohammed, can be applied to Pay TV. In the beginning, MTN and Airtel said per second billion was not possible until Globacom launched in 2003. After that, other networks joined and that led to cheaper services.

FINDING: Apples and oranges. It is true that mobile phone services became more affordable in Nigeria when Globacom introduced per second billing as against the per minute that was in operation. Before then, subscribers paid for one full minute even if the call was for just one second. However, telcos do not pay for programmes and contents. For instance, Pay TV operators pay the full price to buy rights to a two-hour movie — even if the subscriber is going to watch only one minute of it. Comparing telcoms and Pay TV may be a mismatch in this case.


The minister gave a number of examples of PAYG services across the world. He said in the UK, NOW TV offers such services. “For a single payment, viewers can get unlimited 24-hour access to all six Sky Sports channels. NOW TV customers gain access to matches and events, including live Barclays Premier League matches, Formula 1 and Ashes test matches. NOW TV is available for connected devices, including computers, tablets, smartphones and Xbox 360, and subscribers only pay for the days they want to watch with a Sky Sports Day, Week or Month pass, from just £9.99. This was introduced in March 2013.”

FINDING: That is not the complete picture. NOW TV has a 24-hour access bouquet to all six Sky Sports channels for £9.99. This means N4,850 per day, N33,950 per week and N135,800 per month. This makes Sky Sports weekly plan far more expensive than the most costliest pay-TV offer in Nigeria — the DStv premium package which goes for N16,200 and offers over 175 channels, including sports channels. This Sky Sports plan is offered via NOW TV, which is an internet TV/streaming service. The cost of internet will be on the consumer. In simple words, this means the consumer will have to pay for internet data to stream TV for the entire day. Therefore, in addition to N4,850 paid per day, consumers will have to pay for data.


Giving another example, Mohammed said: “Orby TV, a new US PAYG pay DTH (Direct-To-Home) satellite service announced on October 16, 2019 that the platform would offer a high-quality and affordable prepaid. PAYG satellite pay TV service directly to consumers at a low cost, with no contract and no internet service required. This indicated that subscribers would not be forced to pay for a bundled service inclusive of internet data and would not be mandated to sign a contract for any duration.”

FINDING: Apples and oranges again. Orby TV offers monthly subscription, not PAYG. TheCable found out that Orby’s start-up costs are significant. One-time fee is at least $250 (about N97,000) and monthly charges start at $40 (about N15,500). Orby TV offers two different types of receivers: the standard TV receiver which costs $100 (N38,800) and the DVR-capable $200 (N77,530). Subscribers must buy an additional receiver at $50 (N19,300) for every extra room. Also, subscribers have to pay at least $150 (N58,000) to have the satellite dish and outdoor antenna installed. For premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax, Starz and Epix, there are add-on fees.


Mohammed said Comcast Corp. in the US has rolled out a new PAYG programme that allows consumers to sign up for television and internet services for seven or 30 days at a time. Under the plan, called Xfinity Prepaid Services, he said, “customers will pay a one-time equipment setup fee and can ‘refill’ their service without limitations on the number of times they can renew”.

FINDING: Apples and oranges yet again. The Comcast Xinity pre-paid service is internet-based and not a satellite broadcast service. Therefore, the cost structures are totally different. For Comcast, active prepaid internet service is required, and this is an additional cost. Monthly prepaid entertainment is $37 (N14,300), kids and family $32 (N12,400), sports and news $57 (N22,000) and instant TV basic $22 (N8,500). It is called PAYG because the service is not offered on a 12-month contract basis and a subscriber has the option to go for a monthly subscription and can cut off after a month without incurring a penalty.


The minister argued that the pay-as-you-go model will “grow an untapped low-income subscriber base and such a new, more flexible option may even create some goodwill for a Pay TV brand”. Mohammed, here, is suggesting that the model will allow low-income earners access into the pay-TV market. His examples are Sky Sport, Orby TV, Comcast, Foxtel, readyTV, and DISH TV.

FINDING: False. We took a look at the models and the pricing, and found that the argument does not hold up. In fact, PAYG is on the long run more expensive than the monthly subscription. In Jamaica, a developing country like Nigeria, readyTV offers the cheapest PAYG services at J$150 for 27 channels per day. This translates to N416 per day at N2.77 to J$1 or N2,081 per week or N6,940 a month. The cheapest DStv monthly package in Nigeria costs N1,850 for over 40 channels. This is three times less than readyTV.

The packages cited by the minister are not cheaper than the current monthly models offered in Nigeria. Foxtel Play in Australia and Comcast Xfinity in the US are internet TV offerings, which cannot be compared to satellite TV like DStv and StarTimes. More so, internet cost in Nigeria does not support low or middle-income earners streaming TV.

VERDICT: Mohammed’s claims amount to comparing apples and oranges: internet-based TV vs satellite-based Pay TV; ordinary contents vs premium contents; and business models that are not at par with each other. He appears not to be aware that subscription rates are determined by the cost of acquiring broadcast rights. Pay-TV providers that do not show premium contents, such as live football and exclusive movies, can offer far cheaper services compared to those who pay millions of dollars to acquire rights. Most of the examples Mohammed gave do not have premium contents.

Also, while a case can be made for the introduction of PAYG to make services more affordable, the agitation does not cover enough grounds: broadcast rights are sold as a whole package, not on a pay-as-you-go basis. Even the PAYG examples he gave in Nigeria do not offer expensive premium contents, so their costs are cheaper. By his own admission, the service providers decided on their own to offer PAYG, not through legislation. In all the cases he cited, no cable TV provider was forced to offer PAYG.

Finally, the PAYG model does not necessarily benefit the poor suggested by Mohammed. According to the National Bureau of Statistics  (NBS), 82.9 million Nigerians spend less than N376.5 a day on food and other basic needs such as shelter, clothing, health, education, electricity, and security. The cheapest PAYG service available in Jamaica requires a daily payment of N416 or N6,940 per month — which is still more expensive than the current models in Nigeria.

I am Paschal Ogechi Obi Chikero . I have written and published three books , I wrote Festus Keyamo's biography- Lion In Isolation .I have been a Reality TV show Producer/Creator, an Actor and Film Script Writer.


Dangote still Africa’s Most Admired Brand for 5 Consecutive Years




Dangote still Africa’s Most Admired Brand for 5 Consecutive Years

The Pan-African and fully integrated conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has again emerged as the most Admired Brand in Africa for the year 2022, for its leadership position in driving quality brands across the continent.

Dangote won awards in 8 different categories, on Wednesday at the venue of the award presentation organised by a renowned organisation Brand Africa in Lagos. The other awards include: Most Admired Nigerian Brand, West Africa’s Most Admired Brand that symbolises African Pride; West Africa’s Most Admired African Brand, and Most Admired Nigerian Brand in Africa, among others.

Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, stated that Dangote has remained a stalwart global African brand and symbolises African pride. He added that Dangote has also moved up a rank in the Top 100 most admired brands and retains its #1 Made-in-Nigeria brand rank.

Ikalafeng, giving an insight into the process of selecting the winners, said the rankings are based on a pan-African survey covering over 25 countries, which collectively account for an estimated over 85% of Africa’s population and 85% of the continent’s GDP.

According to him, “the research is conducted by GeoPoll, the world’s leading mobile surveying platform, with strategic analyses, insights and ranking conducted by Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company and Brand Leadership Group, Africa’s foremost branding, strategic communications and intellectual property advisory firm.”

In a recent issue of the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands rankings, Dangote and MTN retained their statuses as the most admired African brands recalled spontaneously and when prompted, respectively.

Group Chief Commercial Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, Rabiu Umar, who received the awards, commended Brand Africa for the initiative of building and promoting African brands. He expressed appreciation to the organisers and urged them not to relent in their efforts to see that brands from Africa compete favorably with foreign ones.

Umar said that Dangote has risen a notch higher as a global brand with the export of Dangote Fertiliser to many countries of the world. “People now identify with the brand and in all the countries where we operate, Dangote Cement has become a reference point,” he added.

Umar said, “To the management of DIL, the ranking was not unexpected, because the company has a long-standing reputation for quality, relevance, compliance and social stewardship. Our mission and vision engage and inspire us; and by extension connects us to both our internal and external stakeholders.

“We fervently believe that only Africans can develop Africa, and this gives us stronger sense of relevance in all the countries where we have our operations. We are touching lives by providing their basic needs and empowering Africans more than ever before, creating jobs, reducing capital flight, and helping government to conserve foreign exchange drain by supporting different industrial and infrastructural projects of African governments.”

Established in 2011, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands rankings are the most authoritative survey and analysis on brands and underlying businesses in Africa, based on a study by Geopoll across 29 countries spanning all the five economic regions.

An analysis of the data over the past 10 years, has established that on average, slightly over 20% of the brands admired by Africans are made in Africa.




 L-R, Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman Brand Africa;  Rabiu Umar, Group Chief Commercial Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, and Karin du Chenne, Chief Growth Officer, Kantar EMEA, at the Presentation of Most Admired Brand That Symbolises Africa Pride in Africaand Seven other awards won byDangote Industries Limited at 2022 Africa’s Best Brands Awards, in Lagos on Wednesday 


 L-R, Thebe Ikalafeng,Founder and Chairman, Brand Africa; Tosin Adefeko, Chief Executive Officer, AT3 Resources; Rabiu Umar,Group Chief Commercial Officer, Dangote Industries Limited and Karin du Chenne, Chief Growth Officer,Kantar EMEA, at the Presentation of Most Admired Brand That SymbolisesAfrica Pride in Africa and Seven other awards won by Dangote Industries Limited at 2022 Africa’s Best Brands Awards, in Lagos on Wednesday 

DSC 0481: L-R, Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman Brand Africa; Feyi Olubodun, Managing Partner Open Squares Africa; Tosin Adefeko, Chief Executive Officer, AT3 Resources;  Rabiu Umar, Group Chief Commercial Officer, Dangote Industries Limited and Karin du Chenne, Chief Growth Officer, Kantar EMEA at the Presentation of Most Admired Brand That SymbolisesAfrica Pride in Africa and Seven other awards won by Dangote Industries Limited at 2022 Africa’s Best Brands Awards, in Lagos on Wednesday

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Dangote, only Nigerian on Bloomberg’s top Billionaires’ lists…Fortune increases to $17.8bn

President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has challenged state governments to consider as topmost priority, the provision of enabling environment for investments as a potent means of attracting private sector operators to their state for investments.

The business mogul who was speaking on the sideline during the recently concluded Nasarawa economic summit in Lafia, said there is no state in Nigeria that is not blessed with resources which could serve as potential for industrial growth.

What the states should do, according to him, is to look inward and put in place economic policies that guarantee environment that would be conducive for investments in the available resources in the states.

“When states provide enabling environment, it will incentivize the private sector to invest and it will be a win-win situation for both the state and the private sector”, he explained.

Dangote recalled how the enabling environment in Lagos had motivated private sector operators to move into the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos to establish companies which is now adding value not only to the economy of the state but also to Nigeria in general.

In the same vein, he stated that such is the enabling environment situation in Nasarawa that made his Dangote Sugar Plc to invest multi-million dollar sugar business in the state.

Dangote reiterated his position earlier while speaking during the opening of the summit that various economic policies including the land reform put in place by the Nasarawa state government were necessary requirements to a state that is committed to promote enabling socio-economic development, as well as improve the quality of lives of their citizenry.

Dangote commended the state governor Engr. Abdulahi Sule for providing the necessary enablers for the investment summit to achieve its goals. Such enablers, he said include, providing committed and focused leadership and well thought out institutional framework that enables the creation of sustainable conducive business and investment climate.

Dangote equally pointed out that it was not enough developing credible, comprehensive plan that identifies investment opportunities and projects but backing these up with supportive public policies and regulations that make these investment opportunities competitive.

“Here is the good news, I can say with confidence that Nasarawa State has in place all the three requirements that promises to guarantee the attainment of the goals of this summit.

“First, I can say, with all humility, that the state has the leadership with the vision and commitment to achieve it,” he said, while describing the Nasarawa governor, Engr. Abdulahi Sule as one of the visionary leaders that made the success of the Dangote Group possible.

“As the GMD then of Dangote Sugar Plc, he has proven this by positioning Dangote Sugar in the top tier of stock in the Nigerian Stock Exchange as the leading sugar company in Nigeria and also Africa,” Dangote stated.

Also speaking, former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, in his keynote address shared some key thoughts on how Nasarawa State can proceed, with the benefit of hindsight, with its investment plan and implementation milestones.

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Dangote Cement grosses N413.2bn revenue in the first 3 months




Dangote Cement’s commitment

In the first three months of the 2022 financial year, Dangote Cement has recorded a 24.2 percent increase in its revenue and an 18 percent increase in its profit after tax for the same period.

Unaudited results for three months ended 31st March 2022, showed revenue of N413.2 billion and a profit after tax of₦105.9 billion.


Analysis of the cement giant’s three months results indicated that Dangote Cement sold a total volume of 7.2Mt of cement across the group with Nigerian operations accounting for 4.8Mt while the rest of Africa did the balance of 2.4Mt.


Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, in his comments, said that the company started the first quarter on a positive note despite the new uncertainties brought by a very volatile global environment. He stated that increases recorded in revenue and profitability drove strong cash generation across the Group. Profit after Tax rose to ₦105.9 billion, up 18 percent compared to last year while Group EBITDA rose to  ₦211.0 billion, by 18.6 percent with an EBITDA margin of 51.1 percent.


Puchercos said, “On the operational side, we are ramping up production at our Okpella plant and are progressing well to deploy grinding plants in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Demand remained strong across all markets, and we remain confident that Dangote Cement is positioned to meet customers’ expectations despite these temporary challenges.


Continuing our efforts to deliver shareholder value, Dangote Cement completed the second tranche of its buyback programme. Following the completion of both tranches, Dangote Cement has now bought back 0.98% of its shares outstanding. This share buy-back programme reflects the Company’s commitment in finding opportunities beyond dividend to return cash to shareholders.”


Puchercos added, “the volatile international context is strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels and execution of our export-to-import strategy. Reducing our dependence on imported inputs and making our markets self-sufficient has never been more relevant from a regional perspective.


Our continuous focus on efficiency, meeting strong market demand and maintaining our costs leadership drives our ability to consistently deliver superior profitability and value to all shareholders.”


Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa. A fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer, it has a production capacity of 35.25Mta in its home market, Nigeria. The Obajana plant in Kogi State, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta while Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta; and  Okpella plant in Edo state has 3Mta.


Through recent investments, Dangote Cement has eliminated Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement and has transformed the nation into an exporter of cement serving neighbouring countries.



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