Why voicemail services could not be favoured by Nigerians
Did you remember those days as of early 2002's, when MTN was the major telecom mobile service provider? Mobile phones and SIM cards were expensive, so you have to go to what they called phone booth (a wooden kiosk usually painted in yellow) before you can call someone in the town. These phone booth guys knew how they made so much money apart from their call rates. They always have this surprising gesture " Madam/Oga, it entered voicemail" which they charge you triple the call rate.
Nigerians would not waste much of their money on little things they find less significant. Voicemail is an alternative form of reaching to someone in a later time. For instance, I may activate voicemail to accept incoming messages from my caller whenever I'm busy or unavailable. Then I can read them whenever I'm free and can decide to call back. And all of these come with regular call charges.
I found these reasons to be the repelling factors
Too many extra charges
You tell a normal Nigerian to pay for voicemail messages he receives by someone. This is not enough yet, you went ahead to tell him that he will be charged whenever he sends a voice messages to someone. Look at the reactions here, If I send a voice message to you (MTN voicemail), you and I will be charged for the service. As a normal user, I would rather conclude by saying "since they charge me for allowing someone to reach me whenever I'm unavailable, it is better to cancel everything". Although, Etisalat had the feature of sending a notification sms of intercepted incoming calls while they were unavailable to their customers. MTN will tell you, somebody sent you an InstaVoice.
There is nothing more fearful than when you hear "Your call is being forwarded". If did experienced the likes of call diverts during the early time of telephoning, I bet you should not let this one. If you tell someone that his call is being forwarded, he thinks you are diverting him to an answering machine to exhaust his airtime. I think the more friendlier response would have been "The subscriber is unavailable at the moment, you can record your message after the voice command. I think Airtel used to have this kind of voicemail service.
Voicemail cannot work until you activate them which follows few steps like setting up a password, recording name and setting up a message. Some people would like to divert their calls for personal reasons.
Voicemail is not a bad idea at all. I wish I could use it as long as these two factors are resolved. I hope you have been seeing the way voicemail messages are taken in Hollywood movies. They are interesting right? Of course they are.