The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has temporarily suspended its order to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 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 decision allows information to be passed to voters by the electoral umpire as the general elections begin in less than 10 days.
The NCC said that 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.
It will be recalled that the NCC had issued a 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 NCC has expressed its readiness to strictly monitor the activities of the MNOs for the duration of the temporary suspension.