The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has temporarily suspended the ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ service on mobile networks ahead of the upcoming general elections.
The regulatory commission revealed the move in a statement issued in Abuja.
NNC said it suspended the DND to enable mobile operators to disseminate information on the 2019 General Elections which begins on February 16.
The DND enable subscribers to choose what kind of text messages they can receive from operators or even opt out completely from receiving unsolicited text messages from mobile operators.
According to the commission in a statement it explained that the suspension was necessary to enable Mobile Network Operators to disseminate specific information on voter education on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The NCC said, in implementing the suspension, MNOs are to be mindful of existing directives regarding the timing and regularity of such messages and the fact that the temporary suspension is only with regards to the specific messages on voters’ education.
The NCC had issued Guidance to all MNOs and Value Added Service Providers to the effect that:
“MNOs should ensure that their facilities are not used to disseminate political or religious contents which are abusive, insulting, intimidating and harassing, and/or which incite violence, hatred or discrimination against any person or group of persons.
“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.”
The commission also expressed its readiness to strictly monitor the activities of the MNOs for the duration of the temporary suspension.