By Emma Okonji

Having ranked South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt among the top 20 countries in the world being plagued by unwanted spam calls in its recent survey, Truecaller has further narrowed its survey result on industry sectors, and has ranked telecommunications companies (Telcos) as the highest sources of unsolicited spam calls in Nigeria.

According to the report, among the top spammers in Nigeria, telecommunication operators top the list with 61 per cent unsolicited calls and SMS, followed by 27 per cent nuisance calls, 10 per cent scam calls and 2 per cent telemarketing calls.

The report revealed that Value Added Service (VAS) operators in the Nigerian telecoms space formed the bulk source of spam calls.

The Truecaller report further confirmed the fears earlier raised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, that telcos were embarrassing telecoms subscribers with unsolicited SMS and voice calls, which led to the compulsory introduction of ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND), app on operator’s network by the NCC, which gives telecoms subscribers the option to allow or reject unsolicited SMS and calls.

Truecaller said it is helping Nigerian users to block more than 13 million calls, and 25 million spam SMS on a monthly basis. The company also revealed that it has more than 6.2 million users of Truecaller app in Nigeria, where the user base has grown with over 80 per cent in the past year.

Truecaller has become one of the fastest growing consumer apps in Africa, and has consistently been topping the App Store charts across the continent for the past two years. The Truecaller app, which allows people to see who is calling and filter out spam calls and SMS, already has more than 50 million users in Africa.

Considering the fast growth of the Truecaller community in Nigeria, the company at the weekend, in Lagos, launched its Developer Program in Nigeria, while scouting for local talents.

The Developer Program, with Truecaller SDK, is a mobile identity product for digital start-ups and app developers, and it was launched at the CcHUB, Africa’s leading social innovation centre.

The company revealed it would  be setting up headquarters in the region and hire key personnel for its operations.

Truecaller SDK enables third party app developers, digital businesses and startups to verify end users quickly and frictionlessly by utilizing their Truecaller profile with a one-touch and password free experience. The Truecaller SDK is available on Android, iOS and web platforms and can be used by any app or a website to instantly onboard, autofill user information, or verify the user’s phone number based identity through the users’ consent.

Director and Head of Worldwide Developer Relations at Truecaller, Mr. Priyam Bose, who spoke at the launch, said: “We see Nigeria as one of the most promising eco-systems in Africa that is why we have decided to kick-off our tour in the market. After engaging with some of the top tech startups and digital businesses in the country, we are even more convinced that Truecaller SDK, a mobile identity solution, will help solve many of their challenges when onboarding and verifying new users.”