This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Saturday, March 12, 2016
MURIC SUPPORTS REPS ACTION ON TELCOMS PROVIDERS
13th March 2016,
MURIC SUPPORTS REPS ACTION
The House of Representatives yesterday threw its weight behind the
enactment of a bill aiming at reducing the incidence of unsolicited telephone
calls and text messages received by consumers. The bill which was sponsored by
Ali Madaki (APC Kano) has already scaled through the second reading on the
floor of the House. It is now awaiting fine-tuning by the House Committee on
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lauds the House of Representatives for taking
action on unsolicited telephone calls and text messages. Current members of the House
deserve our accolades because the immediate past House ignored the matter when
MURIC raised it in a press statement issued on 14th December 2014.
calls and text messages constitute public nuisance, irritants of no small
measure, threat to the health of Nigerians and drawbacks to productivity.Judged from its irritant perspective, mobile telephone services which
began actively during the regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007) is
fast becoming a curse rather than a blessing unless something is done urgently.
providers have become extremely audacious. They exhibit no concern for the
personal privacy and health of consumers. They call defenseless consumers by
phone and send strange and unsolicited text messages to them at odd times.
Those that are most disturbing and irritating are sent in the unholy hours of
the morning between 1 and 4 am when hardworking Nigerians are fast asleep.
The messages wake them
forcefully from sleep. Many find it hard to go back to sleep hours after the
satanic invasion of their privacy. This is not only irritating but provocative
is gross abuse of priviledge on the part of service providers.
These unsolicited telephone calls
and text messages are not limited to nights and early morning hours alone. They
also come during the day. The high volume of text messages sent by service
providers has exposed these shylock business concerns as relentless capitalist compradore
bourgeoisie. Some customers receive as many as 40 messages per day.
MURIC is asking the telecommunication
companies operating in Nigeria: If you can afford to send so many text messages
to all customers at no extra charges to yourselves, why do you charge so high
for the text messages sent by individual customers?
It is our contention that Nigerians
are being taken for a ride by service providers. These capitalist-oriented
companies are inflicting pain on innocent subscribers. Nigerians yearn for
We call attention to the great havoc
in the torrential outpouring of text messages from service providers to
innocent tax-payers. The havoc is mainly in health hazards but what could be
more damaging to a nation than threat to the health of its citizens?
Experts agree that sound sleep means
ability to think clearly, to plan and to design the next line of action in
day-to-day endeavours. The reverse is the case when sleep is brutally cut.
There is no gainsaying the fact that stress and fatigue are certain to occur
when people are stinted of sleep. We suspect that the current rise in mental
illnesses all over the country is partly informed by this flagrant disregard
for people’s privacy and the rate at which unsolicited calls and text messages
have been disturbing Nigerians.
The impact of this phenomenon on the nation’s economy cannot be overemphasized.
. If it is true that the health of the
individual reflects on the performance of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),
then we must agree that the telecommunication service providers are not serving
the interest of our country.
MURIC invites the Consumer Protection Society to wake up to
its responsibilities. We also charge the House Committee on Telecommunication
to expedite action on the draft bill as Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the
outcome of its deliberation on the bill. Finally, we urge President Muhammadu
Buhari to give speedy accent to the bill as soon as it gets to the Presidency.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)