NCC suspends DND mode, in favour of voters education

After incessant complaints from GSM subscribers in Nigeria about unwanted calls and SMS interfering with their phones, the regulator, the NCC, issued a directive for mobile operators (MNO) to curb a future event.

The directive, which gives subscribers the freedom to choose which messages to receive from different networks, entered into force on July 1, 2016.

This action was taken in order to protect subscribers from the nuisance of unsolicited texts, and therefore a direct regulatory response to the yearnings of the subscribers.

Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)

The NCC’s approach was to ensure compliance with the open 2442 Do Not Disturb code, which required subscribers to choose before receiving messages on any topics, from banking, sports, religion, and more. In some cases, subscribers who never want to receive any of these messages may simply send STOP to the shortcode 2442 and never receive any unwanted messages from their network operator.

Concession based on voters education

In the light of the upcoming elections (presidential and nationwide meeting) scheduled for Saturday, February 16, 2019, the NCC temporarily suspended the preferences of DND subscribers to allow mobile operators to distribute information about voter education.

In the aggregate, the distribution capacities of the last mile of telecom operators are unmatched: mobile penetration is about 90%.

According to the NCC, as of December 2018, the number of GSM subscribers was 172.48 million. This extensive coverage of telecom operators makes it the preferred means of disseminating vital information.

Voter education means giving citizens basic information about their participation in elections, says Polyas, the leader in the German online voting system. If voters are well aware of how to vote (and not who to vote for), this can lead to a credible election result (for which most people voted consciously).

At this stage, appropriate voter education in Nigeria will include information on:

  • where to vote, also known as the relevant voting units
  • how to vote on day d so he acted
  • What to do after the vote to count it?
  • Nigeria faces very low voter turnout, and 43% of registered voters may increase in this education of voters (in 2015), which is only 29,432,083 million people.

Regulators are suspended from work because they have to perform unattractive work on monitoring the types of messages transmitted by the MNO in order to ensure their neutrality and impartiality.

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