In the first week of May 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that Nigerian telecom operators had one month to start implementing the ‘Do-not-Disturb’ (DND) code.
With the 2442 short code that will be stipulated and assigned, subscribers could opt out of the barrage of advertorial text messages from these telcos.
At a Telecoms Consumer Parliament in Abuja at the time, Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC said sanctions awaited any telco that failed to comply with the directive.
However, it seems measures for the sanctions have finally been put in place nearly 2 years later.
At the 83rd edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), a spokesperson of the NCC Mr Philip Eretan, warned that any telco violating the DND directive will be charged ₦500,000.
This sanction is also coming on the heels of increased complaints by subscribers.
Regardless of the fact that by December 2017, 10 million subscribers had opted into the DND zone, the The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) had complained that the messages were still coming.
Last year, we concluded that the new DND directive was hurting Value Added Services (VAS) businesses, but subscribers value their peace of mind above whose ox is gored.
Until a telco is fined, the subscribers will also view this directive with an initial skepticism born of experience.