Bulk SMS in Nigeria

Nigeria Government’s Restriction On Bulk SMS Delivery

Bulk SMS can be defined as the broadcasting of a message for delivery to a large volume of recipients’ telephone numbers without direct feedback from the recipients.

In the history of Nigeria, GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) was launched in Nigeria on August 06, 2001. That was when Nigerians started to get used to text messages as a means of communication. A few years after then, 2005 to be precise, bulk SMS platforms started springing up in Nigeria. There were little or no serious control measures from any government agency to manage and control the activities bulk SMS business in Nigeria from 2005 – 2016.

On July 01, 2016, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) compelled the telecommunications service providers in Nigeria to activate Do-Not-Disturb (DND) policy to protect GSM subscribers from the nuisance of unsolicited bulk SMS messages. To worsen the situation, the telecoms operators activated DND on subscribers’ telephone numbers without their consent. So, the subscribers were unaware of the reason why they were not receiving messages from bulk SMS platforms for months. It was a big task on the part of the bulk SMS service providers in Nigeria as they needed to ask bulk SMS users/recipients series of questions to establish a fact that the actual cause is DND. This restriction policy has really affected the bulk SMS in Nigeria.

At present, no legitimate bulk SMS platform can deliver text messages to the numbers on DND. The subscribers, who have their telephone numbers on DND but are interested in receiving text messages from bulk SMS websites, will have to follow a specified process for the deactivation of DND. NCC insists that all messages must be solicited for.

Therefore, NCC, in collaboration with telecoms service providers, is on a lookout for some bulk SMS service providers who are using hosted SIM as a corny way to violate Nigeria government Agency’s restriction policy on bulk SMS delivery. Any bulk SMS service provider who claims to have what it takes to deliver messages to the numbers on DND is running illegal bulk SMS business in Nigeria.

As a good citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who wants to make money in a legitimate way or manage his/her organization in accordance with the government restriction policy, you are advised to abide by the law of the land by patronising any bulk SMS service provider in Nigeria who follows the right policy as stipulated by the government or any of its agencies. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse.