Nigerian subscribers have complained about SPAM calls and SMS for years, but finally putting a figure to it paints a messy picture. 61% of SPAM

Report: The Top Spammers in Nigeria are Telecom Operators

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Nigerian subscribers have complained about SPAM calls and SMS for years, but finally putting a figure to it paints a messy picture. 61% of SPAM calls in Nigeria are from the country’s telecom operators. Yes; the top spammers in Nigeria are he telecom operators.

The Top Spammers In Nigeria

Here is the breakdown of the mobile subscriber SPAM statistics as published by TrueCaller:

  1. Telecom operators: 61%
  2. Nuisance: 27%
  3. Scam: 10%
  4. Telemarketing: 2%

Have a look at that. Telemarketers are not Nigeria’s big SPAM problem. Scammers are not either. Telecom operators are. The Big Boys themselves. That isn’t a big surprise. This list of top SMS spammers, published 4 years ago, had MTN and Globacom at the top.

TrueCaller says that of the top 20 countries affected by SPAM calls in 2017, Nigeria is number 9.

Do Not Disturb Is Not Working

The DND initiative has not worked. It appears to be a shell that wasn’t well thought out or well implemented. The blocking options are so vague and sweeping that subscribers who block certain categories find out that they have blocked services that they need. It is a case of “Damned if you do; damned if you don’t”.

I used DND briefly and suddenly all the vital notifications that I needed stopped coming in. What to do? I disabled the service so I don’t get cut off from essential services. Of course, that means I had to endure those pesky SPAM calls and messages all over again. Eventually, anti-SPAM apps came to my rescue. I use those to block offending numbers.

The problem with those is that I had to block those numbers afresh each time I switched phones. Still, it is better than having to endure the daily barrage of unsolicited calls.

Plus, the networks seem to be exempt from DND. This was what MTN had to say about DND at inception:

DND service will only be introduced for 3rd party services e.g. VAS, Bulk SMS etc.

In other words, you can enable DND all you want, you will still receive calls and messages from MTN whether or not you want to receive them. he Do-Not-Disturb service allows MTN customers to opt out of receiving promotional messages for 3rd Party services only. There you go.

top spammers in nigeria

What DND Should Be

What DND should be is that the network or marketer should obtain a subscriber’s permission BEFORE sending any calls or messages. Permission should be required upfront. This mad situation in which everyone has carte blanche freedom to disturb subscribers and then the burden to block is placed on the paying subscriber is downright nonsense.

If the subscriber does not sign up for a specific service, they should not be getting calls from them. Simple. But will the NCC enforce this? For how long will Nigerians continue to endure this harassment?



  1. DND was a huge scam especially because the biggest culprits(Telecom networks) exempted themselves from being blocked. MTN automatically enabled it on some lines, mine inclusive, and I noticed I couldn’t receive bulk SMS. I had to send that STOP/HELP to 2442 to opt out.
    Truecaller and their likes helps, though Airtel tries to play smart by using so many different numbers that look so legit. Good thing is users can report numbers.

  2. There are far more annoying things about living in Nigeria than those RoboCalls and spam messages.

    The article has said it all.

    I choose to have my essential SMS (mingled with the trash) over activating the impracticable DND.

    The spam calls, I just bear….


  3. My default SMS and dialer app can block numbers. However on my secondary ‘dumb’ phone, it’s spam galore. The line is on permanent vibrate now thanks to Airtel and their unnecessary advices

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