Value Added Service (VAS) operators in the country within two years has lost over N221 billion to the introduction of Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code in the telecommunications industry.
This was disclosed at the first 2019 Nigeria Value Added Service (VAS) Stakeholder’s forum held in Lagos.
According to National Coordinator for Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN), Chijioke Ezeh, “the VAS industry was worth over N300 billion two years ago but it has now depreciated to N79 billion.
“This value is representing between a 75 per cent and 78 per cent loss in revenue within 24 months”, he decried.
Ezeh also noted that the introduction of DND codes largely contributes to the huge fall in value.
However, he added that aside the DND code adverse impact, the embargo on the marketing and other factors played a part in the decline of VAS sector value in Nigeria.
The Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at the NCC, Bako Wakil stated that, although the introduction of DND codes was not meant to kill the sector, but to protect the telecoms consumers from unsolicitated messages.
Wakil further said,the commission was working hard to revamp the sub-sector.
“Two years ago, the VAS industry was worth over N300 billion, but the figure we got today shows it has dropped to N79 billion, which shows it is declining in value, but this is because of the introduction of the DND.
“The intention was not to bring down the market or the performance of this sector of the economy, but to regulate it as an industry regulator.
“Our concern was more on the Nigerian consumers who were crying about the kind of money they were losing to DND without their consent. So, we have to address the needs of the consumers, even though this has affected investment in that sector.
“But then, at the end of the day, the consumer is the king. The NCC had to introduce the DND shortcode to stop the messages. If the subscriber does not want such messages, all he or she needed to do was to subscribe to the shortcode, and the messages will automatically stop.” Wakil explained.