A fine of N500,000 will be paid by any telecoms network provider that violates the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) instruction issued by the Nigeria Telecommunications Commission (NCC), the telecoms watchdog has warned.
Mr. Philip Eretan, Deputy Director, Licensing and Authorization at NCC, gave the warning at the 83rd edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) held in Lagos.
The NCC forum on the theme, “Value Added Services (VAS) and its Benefits to Consumers” was held due to complaints of unsolicited messages by telecoms consumers on Value Added Services (VAS), according to NCC.
Eretan says “NCC had mandated telecoms companies to provide adequate information on the services offered as network providers would be held responsible for whatever happens on their networks”.
He disclosed that a fine of N500,000 will be paid by any network violating the DND Instruction.
Speaking at the Forum, Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman at NCC says that the parliamentary session is aimed at educating consumers on the benefits of VAS messages and ways to deal with them.
The telecoms chief said that the commission engaged the industry stakeholders on the subject due to low participation of the targeted stakeholders especially VAS providers and the need to underscore the importance of the segment of telecoms market.
According to him VAS is adding to the excitement in the telecoms market as well adding up to consumer quality of experience in the industry.
He also believes that VAS is an important element of the telecoms ecosystem network for optimizing the benefits of telecoms service to consumers which enables in a very special way social media and e-commerce activities
In his words “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.”
Danbatta says that, on the other hand, it could become a challenge when VAS would flood networks with all kinds of product offers that most consumers might not be interested in.
“The commission will ensure there is a balance between enabling the opportunities that VAS could offer to some consumers and reducing the challenges or inconveniences they could constitute to other consumers,” he adds.
According to him, “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.”