The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, has warned telemarketers engaged in the illicit collection of telecom subscribers’ phone numbers and other personal information through deceptive practices for commercial purposes to desist from such practices. The NCC emphasized that such actions are strictly prohibited and that anyone found culpable will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
In the statement signed by its Executive Director, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the Commission noted that its attention has been drawn to the criminal activities of telemarketers who illegally access the telephone numbers of telecom subscribers for their commercial activities and gains.
It added that the telemarketers falsely claim that they obtain telecom consumers’ phone numbers from the NCC and that the Commission gave them access to the numbers through the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Database which, according to NCC, is not true.
The NCC stated that it is committed to upholding the principles and rules guiding the protection of privacy as a right of all consumers and users of telecommunications services and that it has not authorized any service provider or telemarketer to invade, harvest, or use subscriber data in any form or guise without the express approval of the consumer, except otherwise provided by law.
It cited Section 35 (1) of the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, 2007; Section 9 (1) of the Nigerian Communications (Registration of Communications Subscribers) Regulations, 2022; and Section 4.2 (a) & (b) of the NCC’s Internet Code of Practice as regulations that protect telecom subscribers data.
The Commission also reminded telecom consumers to activate the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) Short Code introduced by the NCC to manage their subscription to Value Added Services with the option to stop unsolicited text messages and other telemarketing offers. This, NCC said, can be done by sending ‘STOP’ to 2442 Short Code for FULL DND.
NCC urged telecom consumers, who observe such illegal activities by telemarketers, to report such cases to the Commission by calling the NCC Toll-Free Number 622 for necessary enforcement actions.