Business Hilights
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NATCOMS seeks N10,000 air time for failed stoppage of unsolicited sms, calls


The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMs) has flagged off a mouth watering campaign for the payment of N10,000 worth of airtime to subscribers whose official request for end to unsolicited sms and calls to any network fails henceforth.

This according to the body is coming on the heels of observed failure of networks to respect subscribers’ requests to end unsolicited sms and calls since the regulator introduced how to end the problem.

According to NATCOMS, the idea of rerouting failed requests to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is too cumbersome for subscribers because nobody has all the time to be running around to follow the regulators endless process.

NCC had advised subscribers whose requests were not answered to forward same to it for further action.

However, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently claimed that more than one million consumers had activated the 2442 Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code, within two months of its launch.

But several consumers are still getting these messages, even after activating the DND code.Already, an Abuja Court of Appeal has ruled that granting unknown persons and organisations access to a subscriber’s telephone line by one of the operators, MTN in this case, for the purpose of sending unsolicited messages to the line is a violation of the subscriber’s right to privacy.

The failure of the NCC deactivation process propelled NATCOMs to move for sanctions on erring operators and compensation for subscribers because it is not government that gets the fine is bearing the pains, but subscribers after all.

The Legal and Regulatory Department of the NCC, had since 2016, directed to network operators last year, showed that erring telecom firms risked N5 million fine if they failed to comply with the directive and further N500,000 daily for as long as the contravention persists. This was as at June 2016.

But checks by Business Hilights on NCC’s website showed no statistics of any networks so far sanctioned whereas millions of subscribers are still suffered undue disruptions by steady reception of unsolicited sms and calls with impunity.