About 6.5 million subscribers have so far activated the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) short code introduced to end unsolicited commercial communications from telecommunication operators.
This comes as a group, Initiative for Support and Promotion of Consumers’ Rights (ISPC), tasked the service providers to protect quality of their services by engaging in advisory services to the consumers on the standard type of phone and gadgets to be procured.
At a town hall meeting for consumers at Afikpo, Ebonyi State, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Abdullahi Maikano, said the short code services, which commenced in June last year to protect subscribers from unwholesome practice has hit 6.5 million base, only about four per cent of total subscribers rate in the country.
He urged Nigerians not to stop exploring the short code services, which include the Do Not Disturb (DND) code 2442 to stop unwarranted text messages. He explained that the commission last year directed all mobile network operators to dedicate the short code to enable subscribers take informed but independent decisions on what messages they wished to receive from the networks.
Maikano, who was represented by a Deputy Director in the commission, Ephraim Nwokenneya, said all that was needed from a subscriber was to text “STOP” to 2442, adding that should the unwarranted text continue, the subscriber was expected to call a toll free number 622 and report the incident.
He said the NCC would now verify and pronounce the necessary sanctions on the affected mobile network provider, and urged Nigerians to engage the services of the code to protect themselves.
Speaking on the theme, “Information and Education as a Catalyst for Consumer Protection,” he said the forum was organised to “educate telecom consumers and other stakeholders on contemporary issues generating interest in the industry,” and serves as a feedback to enable the Commission make regulatory interventions for the benefits of consumers.
He said consumer education is one of the most cost effective mechanisms that provides and guarantees consumer protection, stressing that besides serving as a proactive way of protecting consumers from making wrong choices, it serves as preventive a measure against exploitation and fraud.
He said that the commission has developed series of initiatives with the main objectives of empowering consumers with appropriate information that would ensure that their rights were protected, in line with Nigeria’s constitution.
At the event, representatives of major network operators including the MTN, GLO, Airtel, 9mobile, said they have continued to improve on their technology to serve their customers better, and advised subscribers to always call in, text or log on to their various platforms for their services