- NCC directs mobile network operators to suspend Do-Not-Disturb feature
- The suspension will enable INEC disseminate specific information on voter education on the 2019 general elections.
- The Commission says it will monitor the activities of the MNOs for the duration of the temporary suspension.
- Nigeria heads to the poll on Saturday.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said it has decided to temporarily suspend its direction to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on Do-Not-Disturb (DND), to enable the service providers to disseminate specific information on voters' education on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The NCC said that in implementing the suspension, MNOs are to be mindful of existing directives regarding the timing and regularity of such messages and the fact that the temporary suspension is only with regards to the specific messages on voters’ education.
The telecom regulator, however, said such messages must follow the pattern:
- MNOs should ensure that their facilities are not used to disseminate political or religious contents which are abusive, insulting, intimidating and harassing, and/or which incite violence, hatred or discrimination against any person or group of persons.
- MNOs shall provide service to participants in the political process, only to the extent that their licence and the regulatory process permits.
- MNOs shall maintain the principle of neutrality in all their dealings regarding all the political process.
- MNOs shall at all times seek and obtain the approval of the Commission at all times.
The Commission expressed its readiness to strictly monitor the activities of the MNOs for the duration of the temporary suspension.
The Do-Not-Disturb feature allows mobile network customers to opt out of receiving promotional messages for 3rd Party services (Bulk SMS, VAS promos, etc.). The service includes fully blocked mode allowing customers to opt out totally from receiving promotional messages via SMS and IVR.
Nigeria heads to the poll on Saturday
Nigeria will be heading to the poll on Saturday for the presidential election after four years. Voters will have to choose between President Muhammadu Buhari, his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar and 70 other presidential candidates including former CBN official, Kingsley Moghalu and Omoyele Sowore, a publisher of a US-based publication, Sahara Reporters.