The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) upon due consideration of the upcoming General Elections, yesterday said it has decided to temporarily suspend its Direction to telecom operators on Do-Not-Disturb (DND), in order to enable the MNOs disseminate specific information on voter education on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The NCC said that in implementing the suspension, operators 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.
It will be recalled that the NCC had issued a Guidance to all mobile network operators (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.
Also, 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 NCC has expressed its readiness to strictly monitor the activities of the MNOs for the duration of the temporary suspension.