JUST IN: 5 Sectors Disrupted In Nigeria By Undersea Cable Cuts

5 Sectors Disrupted In Nigeria By Undersea Cable Cuts

Major sectors of the Nigerian economy were partially affected as a result of the undersea cable cuts which affected broadband Internet connectivity to Nigeria and countries in the West African sub-region since on Friday.

The development forced many banks and other financial institutions, as well as telecom companies and allied firms to scale down their operations.

Recall that in the early hours of Thursday, March 14, 2024, most Nigerians were unable to carry out online transactions due to a fault that occurred as a result of an external incident that resulted in a cut on MainOne submarine cable system, in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Cote D’Ivoire, along the coast of West Africa.

This has led to internet disruption, experienced by major sectors in Nigeria. Hereunder are five services or sectors impacted by the development:

Undersea Cable Cuts: Services To Be Restored Soon, NCC Assures

Banking Sector:

The banking sector was mostly hit, as customers of some major banks were unable to carry out mobile banking transactions, especially on Thursday, when the internet disruption started.

For instance, customers of a number of Nigerian banks were consequently unable to use any USSD services or access their banking apps up till this Sunday.

 

Telecom Sector:

The Telecom sector was also affected, as some customers of some network providers experienced network challenge, especially during the early hours of Thursday.

For instance, MTN issued a statement on Thursday, explaining the cause while apologising for the inconveniences experienced by customers. The company said, “We apologise for the challenges you may be experiencing with internet speed and accessing data services at the moment.

 

“This is a result of damage to international undersea cables across East & West Africa. The repair process is ongoing to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Please look out for further updates.”

The chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, averred that some telecoms operators were affected by the internet disruption, which led to low internet speed, as experienced by consumers.

“This is due to the impact of multiple damage to the International undersea cables across East and West Africa coast line which occurred sometime on the 14th of March, 2024 outside the shore of Nigeria. This unfortunate development has impacted on Data and Internet service delivery by some of our members.

“We highly regret any inconveniences caused by the damage to the submarine fibre optics cable in the international waterways,” Adebayo appealed.

He assured users of communication services that the repair process was ongoing by the concerned international service providers and services should be fully resolved soonest.

“On behalf of our affected members, we offer our apologies for all inconveniences arising from the impact of the damage and resulting outage.We seek for your continuous understanding,” he pleaded.

 

Aviation Sector:

The Aviation sector was not immune to the internet disruption as there were long queues at some stands at the airports on Thursday and Friday.

A customer care personnel at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja told our correspondent on Friday that she was the only one that could work as her colleagues could not access Internet at their workstations.

 

Maritime Sector:

Licensed customs agents operating at the nation’s seaports also lamented the difficulties encountered in making payments.

According to reports, agents at Ports and Terminal Multipurpose Limited at the Tincan Island Port, Lagos, lamented that the payment of some charges for cargo clearance had been very difficult and frustrating since Thursday.

 

Formal and Informal Sectors:

Private business organisations and unregistered business centres, which employ a sizeable number of Nigerians, also suffered internet downtime. Not a few Nigerians were frustrated in the last three days as a result of their inability to speedily carry out their businesses online.

 

Issues to be resolved soon:

Meanwhile, the management of MainOne told LEADERSHIP that services have been restored to some of its customers.

 

It said, “We have restored services to some customers and are actively working on restoring services to others via capacity acquired on available cable systems. The estimated repair time is for our submarine cable fault to be fixed, to enable our services to become fully restored, and independently supply capacity to our customers.”

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