House of Reps direct NCC to caution Airtel, others over Caller tunes - Welcome to: Naija Rebrander Blog Welcome to: Naija Rebrander Blog: House of Reps direct NCC to caution Airtel, others over Caller tunes

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

House of Reps direct NCC to caution Airtel, others over Caller tunes

The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Nigerian Communications Commission to halt certain “unfair practices” by mobile telecommunication service providers in the country.
The House cited the increasing cases of “unsolicited caller tunes” and text messages to subscribers by service providers as one example that the NCC must stop immediately.
In a resolution in Abuja, lawmakers observed that the caller tunes and promotional text messages were not only unsolicited but also carried charges.
They noted that such charges were deducted from the airtime of subscribers in most cases without their knowledge.
“In the recent past, mobile telephone service providers in Nigeria started charging their subscribers for caller tunes unsolicited in contravention of the NCC Act, 2003,” Mr. Ali Madaki, who moved a motion on the issue, told the House.
Madaki, an All Progressives Congress member from Kano State, informed his colleagues that he once took his phone to a service provider’s office in Kano to have an unsolicited caller tune cancelled and his money returned.
However, he became dramatic, sending his colleagues to laugh heartily when Madaki revealed how another unsolicited “embarrassing” caller tune played on his phone a few days later.
“Mr. Speaker, they played a caller tune, ‘My Sweetie, my lover’.
“It is immoral to do such a thing by sending such tunes to subscribers who did not subscribe to them,” Madaki added.
The hilarious manner he made his presentation, forced members to burst into laughter.
House Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, described such acts carried out by service providers as “harassment and invasion of privacy.”
He reminded the House that besides the powers conferred on NCC by the enabling Act, there were laws that guaranteed the privacy of Nigerians.
Gbajabiamila cited Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), noting that when the privacy of individuals was invaded, they could seek the protection of the law.
“If you invade my telephone with unsolicited information, there should be a penalty for it,” he said.
A member from Kogi State, Mr. Tajudeen Yusuf, pointed out another instance of “deceiving” subscribers to participate in promotions with promises of non-existing prizes.
“People buy airtime and soon realise that the entire money is taken.
“This is illegal and it must stop,” he added.
Members passed the resolution in a unanimous voice vote at the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

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