Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

Thursday, Feb 20th

Nigerian govt's plan on mobile phone spam

Nigerian govt's plan on mobile phone spam.

The Nigerian government is considering the merits of a bill aimed at curbing unsolicited communication sent to subscribers and preventing operators from abusing this channel.

The bill, sponsored in the Nigerian House of Representatives by Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki, is aimed at empowering subscribers with the ability to choose whether or not to receive unsolicited communication.

Currently there is now law in place that regulates this type of communication, and this is viewed as being a major setback in efforts to deal effectively with this issue.

Under the proposed law, subscribers will have the legal recourse to file civil suits against telecos.

However, lawmakers have raised concern over potential interference with the functions of the country's industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

It was also suggested that government should exercise caution in its decision to pass the law since telemarketing is a global practice.

Madaki said the bill would not reduce the powers of the NCC and is meant to strengthen the operational base of the regulator. "No legislation currently exists to address the prevalence and incidences of these unsolicited messages, thereby leaving the consumers at the mercy of service providers. This is exploitative and not in tune with the services rendered by service providers globally," he said.

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila added, "Yes, telemarketing is a global practice, but marketing is a profession itself, and marketers do not have the right to harass potential clients. If I don't want any advertisement on my phone, no subscriber or provider is allowed to give my number to a third party."

The bill has been referred to the committee on telecommunications for further deliberation.

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