Unsolicited SMS to attract N5m fine

News Desk
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The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has barred mobile telephone operators from sending out unsolicited text messages to subscribers, a document from the Legal and Regulatory Services Department of the commission showed.

The document said failure to comply with the new directive, with effect from July 1, 2016, will attract a fine of N5million, with additional N500,000 per day, for as long as the contravention persists.

It also showed that a total of 13 operators were issued with the directive. They include MTN, Airtel, Smile, Etisalat, Globacom and Visafone.

Others are Starcomms, Megatech Engineering Limited, Gicell Wireless Limited, Danjay Telecoms, Gamjitel, Multilinks and Natcom.

Mobile telephone service operators have been inundating subscribers with unsolicited messages, drawing a barrage of complaints from subscribers.

According to the new regulations, licensees are mandated by the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, 2007, to conduct telemarketing in accordance with any ‘call’ or ‘do not call’ preferences recorded by the consumer at the time of entering into a contract for services or after.

The document stated further that the commission, through its monitoring activities, confirmed that though some MNOs had set up the DND facility on their network, the awareness by subscribers of the availability of the DND facility on the MNOs network and how to opt into the facility was “very minimal and unsatisfactory.”