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Business News

Multichoice group adds live sports to streaming service, Showmax

Showmax Pro in Nigeria and Kenya will also have news and music channels.

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Multichoice group to add live sports to streaming service, Showmax

In a bid to compete better with Netflix and Amazon, Africa’s biggest pay-TV firm, Multichoice Group Ltd, has started streaming live sports including Premier League soccer through an upgraded version of its Showmax service.

According to the head of the company’s Connected Video Division, Niclas Ekdahl, Multichoice is offering the new Showmax Pro in Nigeria and Kenya as of Tuesday and will add more sub-Saharan African countries over the next 2 months.

This business decision is designed to attract more subscribers and set Showmax apart from Netflix and Amazon Prime, which have both been expanding aggressively in Africa.

Multichoice had launched the video-on-demand service 5 years ago in order to halt movements from its more expensive TV service, thereby positioning itself as a better provider of more localized content than Netflix and Amazon.

READ MORE:DStv earns most preferred pay Tv recognition during festive season)

However, in order to keep up with the trend, Netflix started to commission and screen Africa-produced dramas such as Queen Sono and Blood and Water, as part of its own strategy to attract viewers. Faster internet connections and cheaper packages on the continent have equally made online streaming a viable alternative to pay-TV.

The SuperSport unit of Multichoice is the most attractive of the media group’s broadcasts, showing live sports events like soccer, rugby, cricket and golf from all over the world. Sharing content with Showmax risks encouraging subscribers to move to a cheaper platform, although the Pro offering will be more expensive than the currently available service.

Showmax Pro, which will also have news and music channels, costs $19.66 a month in Kenya, compared with $7.11 for the sport-less version. DSTV packages in the East African country, with varying amounts of the sport, range from $39.32 to as much as $69.01.

According to Ekdahl, “A cheaper, smartphone-based version is also planned. With the mobile-only version, anyone with a smartphone in sub-Saharan Africa can access our content offering. This is something no other service is doing and we think it’s a game changer.”

It can be recalled that just last month, MultiChoice signed deals with Netflix and Amazon to offer their streaming services through its new decoder. The move is to help Africa’s largest pay-TV firm retain teeming subscribers and attract potential viewers.

 

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Hospitality & Travel

FG discusses nation’s carrier, Nigeria Air with US Ambassador

The FG has held a discussion with the US government over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.

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Just in: FG bars Air France, KLM and other foreign airlines, FG to spend N13 billion for automation projects in 4 airports, domestic flights, international passengers, Coronavirus: FG enforces immediate screening of travellers at airports with new directive

The federal government has held a discussion with the government of the United States of America over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika via his Twitter handle after he held a discussion with the Ambassador at the United States Embassy in Abuja.

He tweeted, “We took the opportunity to discuss investments and opportunities in the aviation sector, including national carrier. The partnership looks promising. USA is the only country we have open skies with. Thanks, Ambassador Mary and the team.”

What you should know

In July 2018, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the new airline, Nigeria Air, and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.

Sirika unveiled the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London that year.

“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had said.

He also stated that the government had obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and would go into investor search.

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Economy & Politics

SERAP asks Buhari to probe N39.5 billion duplicated, mysterious projects

SERAP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.

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See what FSDH is saying about the 2020 budget and FG’s revenue drive , 2020 budget

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.

This is to know if public funds have been diverted in the guise of implementing the projects and prosecute those allegedly involved including those from the executive and the National Assembly.

The request from SERAP follows a report from BudgiT last week, where they alleged that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N139.5 billion in the 2021 budget.

This disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by SERAP on Sunday, May 9, 2021, and can be seen on its website.

SERAP said that the investigation of the alleged duplicated and mysterious projects, which are part of the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion, should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing these projects.

What SERAP is saying in its letter

In the letter dated 8th May 2021 and signed by SERAP, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”

The letter from SERAP partly reads, “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”

These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”

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SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”

Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.

Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”

We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.” 

SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to date, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.

The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”

Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”

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The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed, the Finance Minister.

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