Shock Value

Shock Value

The Nigerian economy, like any other, experiences “shocks”— events or policy decisions that can send a ripple of changes through the system. This column zooms in on these ripples in a range of sectors to explore how and why these shocks matter.

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PayTV, Mobile Networks, Shopping and Xenophobia

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi is an avid reader seeking insights in unexpected places. Her research interests include economic development, political economy and trade.

What do these four things have in common? For many Nigerians, the answer would be "South Africa." As diplomatic relations between both countries suffer due to anti-immigrant violence in South Africa, there have been calls to boycott South African companies in Nigeria as a form of protest, since this has proven somewhat effective in Malawi. Three prominent targets are Multichoice Nigeria Ltd., the company that sells DStv and GOtv services, MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. and Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The chances of a boycott happening depends on two things: the hassle of avoiding the business has to be low (ease of finding alternatives) and people have to feel strongly enough about the situation/business. Let’s see how likely Nigerians are to boycott these three corporate giants.

DSTV on the Defence

If these boycotts were set in motion, Multichoice would be the first target. Even before reports of the xenophobic attacks, Nigerians were already unhappy with the hikes in DStv and GOtv subscription rates. Many quarters described the increases as exploitative, and two lawyers sued the company to court. Despite an injunction, Multichoice went ahead with the price increases, prompting online protests such as #BoycottDSTVNG on Twitter.

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