Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and digital economy, has ordered the deactivation of voicemail services on all existing phone lines in the country.
Pantami, who spoke through a statement issued by his spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, on Thursday, directed the sector regulator, the Nigeria Communications Commission, to immediately ensure that the service providers complied with the order. The directive was a continuation of the minister’s ongoing campaign against perceived exploitative practices by the telecoms operators.
Recently, he directed the NCC to stop alleged ‘illegal’ deduction of subscribers’ data by the service providers. NCC has also been directed to ensure a reduction of the rates charged for data by telecoms operators in the country.
In the statement signed by Suleiman, the minister noted that the voicemail service should be voluntary, and not imposed on consumers. He directed NCC to ensure that subscribers are given the option of accessing the service via an activation code. According to the minister, unpatriotic elements in the sector have devised subtle ways to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
Parts of the statement read, “The attention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has been drawn to the latest trend of financial exploitation by Mobile Network Operators in the country, through the automatic activation of the Voicemail Service on their platforms.