The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has issued a broad policy directive to the sector regulator Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to immediately ensure that issues regarding automatic voicemails are addressed on all existing phone lines and the subscribers, given the option of accessing the service via an activation code.
According to a statement issued by the Spokesperson to the Minister, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, it described it as financial exploitation by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, through the automatic activation of the Voicemail Service on their platforms.
The statement said the Voicemail service should be accessed at the discretion of the subscriber and not by default.
It noted that the Minister finds it worrisome and totally unacceptable, that telecoms subscribers incur financial charges, for a service they are compelled to use by default.
“Voicemail is not a popular service among mobile phone users in Nigeria, coupled with the language challenge among rural dwellers, who mostly do not understand the language deployed by these networks”, the statement added.
“It is apparent, that the recent clampdown on the exploitative activities of some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, has beamed the searchlight on the sector properly, and some unpatriotic elements in the system are devising subtle, ingenious methods of defrauding Nigerians,” the statement said.