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NCC Warns Telecom Companies Over Unsolicited Text Messages

Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Umar Danbatta
Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Umar Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has warned mobile telephone operators to desist from bombarding subscribers with unsolicited text messages.

The commission said it would not relent in protecting subscribers from the nuisance and irritations of unsolicited text messages and calls from mobile network operators.

Director of Public Affairs in the NCC, Tony Ojobo, made this known in a statement on Monday.

He stated that in spite of earlier warnings to telecommunication service providers to activate their Do-Not-Disturb facility which gives subscribers the freedom to choose the messages they receive, the Commission is still inundated with complaints by subscribers of continuing text harassment by operators.

The statement read: “The Direction issued to industry operators to activate the 2442 Do Not Disturb Short Code took effect from July 1, 2016.”

Ojobo pointed out that the directive mandates telecom service providers to take immediate action which will allow the subscribers to make informed, but independent decisions on what messages to receive.

He observed the service providers have not fully complied with the directive, adding that the NCC was issuing them a final warning.

Ojobo noted that the Direction takes into cognizance a broad range of services, which include: Banking/Insurance/Financial products, Real estate, Education, Health, Consumer Goods and Automobiles, Communication/ Broadcasting/ Entertainment/ IT, Tourism and /Leisure, Sports, Religion (Christianity, Islam, others).

He said service providers were directed to give necessary instructions and clarifications that will enable subscribers choose a particular service/services or none at all.

The NCC spokesman said: “In fact, a Full DND which is SMS ‘STOP” to 2442 does not allow the subscriber to receive any unsolicited messages from the operators at all.

“Below are the various options:

“SMS 1” for receiving SMS relating to Banking/Insurance/ Financial Products to 2442

“SMS 2” for receiving SMS relating to Real estate to 2442

SMS 3” for receiving SMS relating to Education to 2442

“SMS 4” for receiving SMS relating to Health to 2442

“SMS 5” for receiving SMS relating to Consumer Goods and Automobiles, to 2442

“SMS 6” for receiving SMS relating to Communication/ Broadcasting/ Entertainment/ IT, to 2442

“SMS 7” for receiving SMS relating to Tourism and Leisure to 2442

“SMS 8” for receiving SMS relating to Sports to 2442

“SMS 9” for receiving SMS relating to Religion to 2442

Ojobo called on the service providers to immediately comply fully with the directive, adding that further complaints from subscribers would be taken as “serious infractions to a major regulatory intervention by the Commission.”

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