The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has declared that from today (Wednesday, 20th July), telecommunications service providers must activate a “Do Not Disturb facility” for subscribers who do not want to receive unsolicited text messages, stressing that telecom companies that do not adhere to this risks a fine of N10 million.
Prof. Danbatta made this declaration on Tuesday when he received the Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu at the NCC headquarters in Abuja, stressing that “I’ve started receiving this notification but it is going to apply to all consumers without distinction; whether you are the regulator or an ordinary consumer you will receive similar text messages from telcos that empowers you to opt in to the do not disturb facility in virtually all unsolicited text messages.”
He added: “One regulatory measure we have already put in place is that henceforth, I think it’s from tomorrow 20th of July all text messages must have a do not disturb provision because consumers can then opt into this do not disturb provision to say don’t disturb me I don’t want these text messages anymore. If this important regulatory directive is not adhered to there will be consequences. I think there is a fine of about N10million for non-adherence. So we really mean business on this one.”
The Communications Minister stated that the NCC and the telecom companies in the country “must consider them as two brothers who are like Siamese twins whether they like it or not, one exist for the other.
“They must continue to tell themselves the truth and the truth is that Nigerian people are daily complaining.”
Shittu hinted: “Even me as Minister of Communications, messages come which are unsolicited, a lot of times, monies are deducted. They ask you to press something if you want to discontinue and despite the fact that you discontinue, the next time they are still charging you. I mean, this occurs every now and then. I think there is still a lot of work that needs to be done on that.
“Drop calls have become so pervasive, everybody experiences it. I think we must do something to stem that tide because if we fail to do this, the Nigerian people will see us as having failed in protecting their interest. A lot of people believe that telcos are not paying what is due. We have a lot of proposals from accountants, a number of professionals who have brought evidences that these telcos are really underpaying what is due to government. Again, this is another important thing that we have to look at.” – Daily Times.