Minister of Communication Orders Service Providers To Deactivate Automatic Voicemails On Phone Lines

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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 at once see to a halt the automatic voicemails associated with all existing phone lines and the subscribers, he said that the option is a sole choice of the subscribers and not for the telecom companies to decide.

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), 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 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.