APC Breached Guidelines On Advert And Promos-NCC

Eugene-Juwah-ncc-boss

Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC] said on Tuesday that All Progressive Congress (APC) advert which the Commission stopped recently violated its guidelines on adverts and promos.

NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday explained that the Commission’s guidelines on adverts and promos require telecoms operators to notify the Commission seven days prior to such advertisement.

Ojobo pointed out that the network providers involved in the advertisement of APC’s political campaigns failed to comply with the provisions of Section 3 of the Guidelines on Adverts and Promos.

Section 3 of the NCC’s Guidelines, provides as follows: “The Commission shall receive written notification from the licensees for all advertisements for goods and services within a minimum of seven days of the proposed or planned publication of an advertisement, in order to ensure such advertisements meet the following minimum standards and requirements.”

Ojobo maintained that network operators are obliged to notify the Commission based on the above provisions, which they did not do, as a result, this was a breach of the Guidelines.

He explained that considering the millions of active subscribers on the networks, who may not be interested in political matters, the unsolicited text messages violate their privacy.

His words: “There are currently 135 million active subscribers as of December 31, 2014. Not all of them are interested in political matters.

Meanwhile, the Commission has said it would sanction TextNigeria Limited, for diverting a short code allotted to it for political campaign without obtaining permission from the regulatory agency.

TextNigeria Limited had been involved in handling the fundraising for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign through the use of Short Message Service platform on GSM networks utilising a short code allocated by NCC.

The Commission said the VAS operator obtained the short code for Big Brother Nigeria/Africa in April 2013 and should have written to the agency if it wanted to use the code for anything other than the purpose for which it was obtained.

NCC had in a letter TextNigeria in July 2013 titled Allocation of Short Codes, which read in part said “The commission, having favourably considered your application, is pleased to inform you that short codes 20353, 38350, 35350 and 34350 have been allocated to your company for Samsung eWarranty, Sproxil Authentication, Big Brother Nigeria/Africa and Shared Code Services respectively.

“Please be informed that short code as well as all numbering resources is finite, hence, are considered a national scarce resource. As such, the commission expects that the short code will be put into active use and in a manner that will not cause service disruption to the national telephony network.”

“Please be informed that short code as well as all numbering resources is finite, hence, are considered a national scarce resource. As such, the commission expects that the short code will be put into active use and in a manner that will not cause service disruption to the national telephony network.”

While saying it was wrong for any party to use the SMS platform to raise fund for political campaign NCC added that due process must be followed as the regulatory agency had insisted at all times.