Reps: Why multichoice CEO should be tested for COVID-19




The House of Representatives has asked the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to test the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe, for COVID-19, and provide the result in four days.

This came on Wednesday, through the ad-Hoc Committee Investigating the non-Implementation of Pay As You Go Tariff Plan pay TV satellite providers in Nigeria, as the case in many other countries.

When it was disclosed to the committee that the CEO of Multichoice wrote to explain that he was sick and could not attend the hearing, a member from Delta State, Hon. Julius Podi, came up with a motion that Ugbe be tested for the dreaded coronavirus and the same was unanimously adopted by the panel.

Ugbe was to appear and explain reasons for the non-implementation of the Pay as You Go, as well as the recent hike in DSTV/GOTV tariff platforms under multichoice operations.

But in his letter signed by the Head of Regulatory Affairs of Multichoice Nigeria, Gozie Onumonon, on his behalf, dated July 22, 2020, he said “We regret to inform the Committee that we would be unable to appear before it today due to a sudden illness of our Chief Executive Officer, after arriving in Abuja yesterday for this meeting.

“Because of the abundance of caution needed to be taken in line with the current pandemic, we believe it is necessary that the meeting be deferred until he has regained his health and is cleared by his medical doctor.

“In the meantime, we will submit written submissions to the Committee to assist the Committee in its investigations.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to the Committee and please be assured of our best efforts at all times”.

Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Unyime Idem, who read the letter out to his colleagues however lamented had requested the postponement of the meeting earlier scheduled for July 17, citing pre-scheduled engagements with its shareholders, and so could not be available.

“We are here this morning pursuant to the resolution of the House of Representatives, mandating this Committee on the 17th March 2020, to investigate DSTV and other Cables TV in Nigeria on the non-implementation of the Pay as You Go”, he recalled with reference to specific directive of the House ask Multichoice certain questions.

Ruling on the motion after several contributions by members, the Chairman directed the Clerk to communicate the decision to the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu to locate Ugbe and test him for COVID-19 and trace his contracts, where the need arises.  

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