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NCC to Fine Network Providers over DND

A fine of N500,000  per subscriber will be paid by any telecom network provider that violates the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) instruction, Nigeria Telecommunications Commission (NCC) has warned.

Mr Philip Eretan, Deputy Director, Licensing and Authorisation, NCC, gave the warning in Lagos at the 83rd edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP).

The forum was sequel to complaints of unsolicited messages  by telecom consumers on Value Added Services (VAS).

It had the theme, “Value Added Services (VAS) and its Benefits to Consumers”.

Eretan said that NCC had mandated telecom companies to provide adequate information on the services offered.

He said that network providers would be held responsible for whatever would  happen on their networks.

” A fine of N500,000 will be paid by any network violating the DND instruction,” he said.

In his address, the NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the parliamentary session was to educate consumers on the benefits of VAS messages and ways to deal with them.

He noted that the subject was discussed in Abuja during the 82nd edition of TCP.

Danbatta said that low participation of the targeted stakeholders especially VAS providers and the need to underscore the importance of the segment of telecom market made the commission to engage the industry stakeholders on the subject.

“There is no doubt that VAS is adding to the excitement in the telecom market as well adding up to consumer quality of experience in the industry.

“The Value Added Service is an important element of the telecom ecosystem network for optimising the benefits of telecom service to consumers.

” It enables, in a very special way, social media and e-commerce activities that may be useful to the consumer while offering a veritable tool for entrepreneurs and businesses in this modern and mobile age of the internet.

“VAS could be very useful and provide services that may interest consumers and assist online and offline entrepreneurs to reach customers, particularly on the mobile markets both to advertise and to sell their products and services, ” he said.

Danbatta said that, on the other hand, it could become a challenge when VAS would  flood networks with all kinds of product offer that most consumers might not be interested in.

He said that the commission, therefore, deemed it fit to find a balance between enabling the opportunities that VAS could offer to some consumers and mitigating the challenges or inconveniences they could constitute to other consumers.

Danbatta said that while network service providers were licensed by the commission and allowed to operate and provide value-added services to consumers, the consumers were empowered through the DND platform to choose whether to allow or block access to the services.

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