Nigeria's telco regulator to allow unsolicited messages

Nigeria's telco regulator to allow unsolicited messages

NCC temporarily suspends Do-Not-Disturb directive ahead of general elections.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has temporarily lifted its Do-Not-Disturb (DND) directive on unsolicited digital messages.

In a statement the NCC explained that the move was to enable operators to disseminate specific information on voter education on behalf of Nigeria's electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

"The NCC has expressed its readiness to strictly monitor the activities of the mobile network operators for the duration of the temporary suspension," the NCC stated.

The regulator warned operators to be mindful of existing directives regarding the timing and regularity of messages - and the fact that the temporary suspension is only with regards to the specific messages on voters' education.

In January 2018 the INEC secured NCC support towards the successful conduct of the 2019 general elections.

Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, requested cooperation with mobile operators via social responsibility to Nigeria electoral process, especially on voter education and publicity.

"Towards the 2019 general elections, we would like the operators, in collaboration with INEC, to send bulk SMS on imperative of peaceful elections, the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by registered voters," said Yakubu.

The NCC added, "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."

Nigeria's 2019 general elections is schedule to run on 16 February 2019 during which voters will elect the President, Vice President and members of the National Assembly.