The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that no telecommunications operator in the country will shut down its service before, during or after the 2023 general elections.
Debunking the widespread rumours circulating on social media, the telecom regulator described the misinformation as the handiwork of fraudsters intending to cause chaos.
According to NCC, all ICT services including online transfer facilities of banks will continue to work optimally. The Commission said it has received assurances from all telecom operators in the country that their networks will not witness any deliberate disruption during the elections.
No need to panic: In a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, the NCC assured telecoms subscribers and bank customers there will be no shutdown of telecoms service. Part of the statement said:
“The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been drawn to fraudulent and misleading information circulating in some social media platforms, insinuating there is a planned shutdown of all telecom networks and relevant ICT Units, including online transfer facilities of the banks, with effect from today, February 23, 2023.
“The Nigerian public, consumers of telecommunications services, and all bank customers are advised to ignore these or similar messages that insinuate deliberate network shutdown or disruption of services in the Nigerian telecom network. These malicious and subversive messages originated and are being circulated by fraudsters and unscrupulous elements in society with the intent to cause chaos and panic among the populace.
“The Commission has received unequivocal assurances from all the service providers to the effect that all the network services are currently in optimal performance, and will not witness any deliberate shutdown or disruptions, especially at this very crucial period of general elections in the country.”
The Commission emphasized that all users of telecommunications and banking services utilizing network facilities would continue to enjoy optimal service delivery before, during, and after the general elections in Nigeria.
Elections fever fueling misinformation: Aside from the rumours of telecom service shutdown, there had also been false reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria would shut down banking services for 5 days to prevent vote buying.
The Nigerian Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) had to issue a statement to debunk the rumours.
Describing the reports as ‘fake news’, the bankers said there was no such directive from the CBN, rather, all banks were putting measures in place to ensure that bank customers can access their money before, during, and after the elections.
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