By Emeka Aginam
While fighting illegal lottery operators and promoters, scams and spams may not have yielded the expected results, the National lottery Regulatory Commission, (NLRC) while going tough on illegal lottery operators has urged the Federal Government to enact law that criminalizes what it described as unsolicited and intrusive telemarketing at odd hours.
Telemarketing is marketing conducted over the telephone as most calls from this practice are cold calls meaning that the recipient of the call has not requested that the telemarketer contact him or her.
Avoid intrusive telemarketing
In the meantime, to protect the privacy of the public without necessarily suffocating the business of legitimate lottery operators, NLRC has instructed lottery operators in whatever form as part the condition of grant of any license or permit, to avoid the intrusive telemarketing or face the long arm of the law.
Advertise lottery in the media
“Instead, they should advertise the lottery or promo in the various available media and let customers who are interested to participate voluntarily. Violation of which could lead t the revocation of the license or permit” the Director General, NLRC, Mr, Peter Igho told the gathering at the just concluded first national telecoms subscribers submit organized by the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, *NATCOMS) held in Lagos last week.
Igho, who was represented at the vent by Mr. Henry Uwadiae, Asst. Director, Enforcement and Compliance at NLRC further told the gathering that telemarketing was subject to regulatory and legislative controls related to consumer privacy and protection.
He said that as part of measures towards bringing sanity into the lottery business, NLRC has declared that only credible organizations and individuals will be permitted to do lottery business in Nigeria.
Countries that regulate telemarketing
Assuring that the Commission would has put in place strategies to discourage the irritating marketing strategy, he cited countries including United States, Canada, Australia among others where telemarketing is regulated.
“Unfortunately, such legislation are yet to be enacted in Nigeria. The Nigerian parliament should enact a law that criminalizes unsolicited and intrusive telemarketing at odd time.
Apart from the fact that telemarketing has been associated with various scams and frauds, he informed that telemarketing calls were often considered as annoyance especially when occur during the dinner hours, early in the morning or late in the evening or even at night.