By Bright Bassey
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on Monday has said it will sanction network providers for failing to comply with the ‘Do Not Disturb, DND’ directive against unsolicited telemarketing.
In a statement signed by Tony Ojobo, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, service providers were issued the directive on the 20thofApril, 2016. Those affected are Airtel, MTN, Glo, Etisalat, Starcomms, Multi-links, Visafone, Ntel, Danjay Communications, Gamjitel Ltd, Megatech Engineering, Gicell Wireless and Smile Communications.
Ojobo said the service providers have been given a week ultimatum starting from Monday, 14thNovember, 2016 to correct the problem or be sanctioned.
“Worried by the non-compliance by the operators, occasioned by a deluge of complaints by subscribers across Nigeria, the NCC inaugurated an eight-member committee to look into the matter.
“After several meetings, including those it held with the network providers, it became necessary to issue the latest ultimatum to redress the menace of incessant unsolicited text messages and phone calls for telemarketing via the various networks,’’ he said.
Ojobo said the commission had written to these network providers after it had received several complaints from subscribers adding that the phrase ‘Network-Generated SMS’ referred to in Part (d) of the directive shall be taken to mean messages and calls, with respect to only information on emergencies.
“Other text messages and voice calls informing subscribers of new products and service offerings are not regarded as ‘Network-Generated’ and, therefore, regarded as “unsolicited marketing messages’’.
“NCC has therefore, asked these network providers to ensure that information on the Do Not Disturb service should be disseminated after every revenue-generating activity via the End of Call Notification (EOCN).
“The operators are also admonished to deploy this information through all their channels of communications, including websites, social media platforms, billboards, flash messages, text messages, Interactive Voice Response platform, radio jingles, newspapers advertisements and television commercials,’’ Ojobo said.