Telecoms Subscribers say “Unsolicited SMS Bill” Long Overdue
National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers President, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, on Monday said that the unsolicited SMS bill was long overdue.
Ogunbanjo in Lagos said that the bill, when passed into law would protect subscribers from unwanted messages from service providers.
This is a bill that is long overdue, just like the Critical National Infrastructure Bill. All the same, it is never too late.
The bill when passed into law will empower and protect subscribers from the sharp practices of telecommunications operators and Value Added Service (VAS) providers.
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The telecommunications companies do not respect subscribers ‘Rights to Privacy and Choice’, and that is why they just sent endless unsolicited Short Messaging Services (SMS), which designed to eventually deplete the subscribers credit.
“However, in view of the fact that there are over 150 million telecommunications customers in Nigeria, we must expect as many as 30 million to 60 million complaints from them against the telecommunications companies, he said.
According to him, the bill should also empower the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to put together some organisations that will assist it in handling operators and subscriber complaints.
“Putting it succinctly, the unsolicited text Message bill will be a welcome development if eventually passed.”
The bill for an act to reduce incident of unsolicited telephone calls and text messages received by consumers was on March 10 read for the second time in the House of Representatives.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Aliyu Madaki (Kano-APC) was intended to provide a legal framework to stop the sending of unsolicited ringtones and text messages to mobile phone subscribers.
The lawmaker explained that the bill was also intended to prohibit online telemarketing without prior consent of a subscriber.
Madaki disclosed that the bill, when passed into law would empower aggrieved subscribers to seek redress in a High Court.
He explained that presently, there was no legislation to address the prevalence of these unsolicited messages in the country, thereby leaving the consumers at the mercies of telephone service providers.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to the Committee on Telecommunications for further legislative action.