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Reps Seek Protection of Telecoms Consumers, Compensation of Slain Health Workers

A bill seeking to empower consumers of telecommunication services has received the unanimous backing of members of the Federal House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, the bill, which also seeks to prohibit any service provider from calling any residential telephone line using an artificial or pre-recorded voice to deliver text messages without the prior consent of the called party, passed through second reading.

In his lead debate, Hon. Abiodun Balogun, sponsor of the “bill for an Act to protect telephone consumers from the activities of tele-marketers and to provide for adequate sanctions against the business of telemarking in Nigeria,” emphasised the need to prohibit any service provider from posting unsolicited advertisements to any called party.

Online telemarketing was not spared as well, as it was prohibited, unless when made with the consent or application of a subscriber.

Anyone convicted of engaging in unsolicited marketing through telephony, according to the bill, will pay fine that may be up to N5m.

Similarly, the House urged the Federal Government to compensate families of the nine female health workers who lost their lives during a polio immunisation exercise in Kano State.

The resolution was reached following the adoption of a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance by Munir Danagundi, who expressed concerns over gruesome murder of the victims.

“This dastardly act is capable of causing distractions from the Federal Government’s objectives of accelerating the reduction of maternal and child mortality in all parts of the country,” he said.