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MTN Compensates Subscribers For Network Downtime

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A telecommunications giant, Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN), Nigeria Communications Plc has announced compensation for its subscribers to make up for the network disruptions experienced, penultimate Saturday.
The Tide reports that on October 9, 2021, MTN Nigeria users witnessed hours of network disruption caused by an outage that left customers without a connection.
The Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Olutokun Toriola, apologised to subscribers for the inconvenience, and stated that new measures were being implemented to avoid a repeat of such an occurrence.
“On behalf of the entire MTN team, I want to start with a heartfelt apology. We are truly sorry for the disruption this caused for so many in our MTN family. We know that millions of people rely on us to stay connected to their loved ones, to manage their businesses, to coordinate their lives. We take that responsibility, and privilege, very seriously. That’s why we are putting new measures in place to make sure we never experience anything like last (penultimate) Saturday again,” said Toriola.
The MTN boss attributed the network disruption to an error that shifted all 4G customers onto the 3G band and impacted the whole network, adding that the technical teams were able to rectify the problem.
“Our technical teams have traced the cause of the problem to an error that shifted all our 4G customers onto the 3G band. This overloaded the 3G band, causing a domino effect that impacted the whole network.
“Our engineers were able to resolve the problem. I know that recently, other technology companies have suffered outages. I want to reassure you that last (penultimate) Saturday’s event is in no way connected to those. This wasn’t sabotaged, it was a regrettable error”, he said. 
 Beyond extending time-bound subscriptions to its customers and as a way to further compensate its customers, the telecom giant said that customers on the MTN network had received a refund for the data and airtime that they used between 12noon and 7pm on Saturday, 16th October, 2021.
“While we can’t give you back the time you lost last (penultimate) Saturday, we can give you back what you spent yesterday. Every customer on the MTN network has received a refund for the data and airtime that they used between 10 am and 3pm yesterday (October 9). We hope it shows how much we value our customers.
“You truly are our most important focus. We all have challenges, each and every one of us, young or old, personally or professionally. What matters is how we respond. With you by our side, we will continue to improve and grow. Thank you for all your support. Thank you for walking with us over the last 20 years. We look forward to the next 20 and more with you,” Toriola stated.

By: King Onunwor

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Expert Wants Telcos To Prioritise Improved QoS

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A Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy Advisor, Mr. Jide Awe, has urged telecommunication operators to give priority to improving Quality of Services (QoS).
Awe, who is also the Founder of Jidaw.com, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen  in Lagos State, recently.
He said it was necessary to improve the current poor QoS using strategic investment in infrastructure to support current and future needs.
Awe said the future needs included increased number of users and increased traffic volumes of transactions among others.
“Customer journey has evolved significantly over the years, largely influenced by the advancements in telecommunications technology.
“Customers now expect seamless and uninterrupted connectivity across multiple touchpoints, be it through their smartphones, laptops, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices”, he said.
Awe also noted that the telecoms industry was plagued with right-of-way charges, multiple taxation, and insecurity of telecoms infrastructure.
According to him, addressing these challenges is essential for consumer protection to ensure QoS standards are met, and that consumers receive the promised level of service quality.
The policy advisor added that solving the issues would also help in promoting affordable broadband services.
On the role of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) as a regulator, he said the NCC needed to adopt an innovative, supportive, and visionary regulation approach that appreciated the importance of innovation and expansion.
“As new technologies continue to emerge, regulation cannot afford to be static. NCC should inculcate a spirit of innovation and growth in the sector.
“Innovative regulation helps to cultivate an environment that attracts investment to propel sectoral growth. Investor-friendly initiatives, simplification of regulations, strategic and disruptive thinking/approaches are crucial”, he said.

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‘No Going Back On Plans Against Passport Racketeers’

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A top immigration officer in Port- Harcourt, who spoke anonymosly, has stressed that the Immigration Service, Rivers State Commission will not soft pedal on plans to go against passport racketeering  in the State.
Stating this in an interview  with the press in Port Harcourt, Monday, he  warned against any attempt to portay  the agency in bad light, saying such will be resisted by the  system.
He emphasised that passport racketeering is  capable of portraying the command in bad light, especially the Passport Unit, at the international group where it belonged.
Noting that the passport processes do not require a third party, easy and pocket  friendly, the officer expressed  regrets that the saboteurs charge the unsuspecting members of the public seeking passport exhobitantly thereby making the process cumbersome.
He boasted on how the passport personnel “have all it takes to deliver tasks on schedule with zero complaint”.
According to him,  those  in the act of the alleged sabotage risk imprisonment, if caught,  in that it is viewed as economic sabortage on the part of the Federal Government.
“Passport racketeering is against  the law and abuse of process. Things  must be done in order and decently. We are an agency  established by law. So, anything  we are doing must follow  due process”, he said.
He has also called on members of the public to be wary of patronising road-side passport operators to avoid double payment.
“If due process will be followed,  according to him, the issue of passport  racketeering will belong  to history”.
He also described as a plus, the introduction of e-gates in about four International Airports in the country, including Port Harcourt.

Stories compiled by King Onunwor

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Minister Wants States To  Align Technological Advancement With Local Prionties

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Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief  Uche Nnaji, has urged states to align their technological advancements with local priorities.
The Minister said this at the first edition of the interactive forum for state commissioners in charge of Science and Technology, held in Abuja recently.
Nnaji said  states should also provide solutions for regional-specific challenges and promoting a more robust and resilient scientific ecosystem that fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing.
“This alignment will ensure inclusivity, unlock the immense potential of our nation’s intellectual and technological resources, and propel our states to the forefront of technological advancements”, he said.
The Minister also urged the commissioners to actively engage local industries, research institutions and community stakeholders, so as to collaborate in amplifying the impact of Nigeria’s scientific endeavours.
He said this was important to ensure seamless transition from research to application of the scientific endeavours, to facilitate economic growth and ensure technological advancements that meet the needs of citizens.
“As Nigeria transits from a resource to a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation, it is worth emphasising that this task is daunting but certainly surmountable, and will require strong commitment, continuous learning and adaptive strategies.
“Let us, therefore, approach it with a sense of urgency, recognising that the decisions we make today will shape the future of our scientific landscape”, he  said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Esuabana Asanye, said the forum was meant to broaden their scope and ensure their buy-in and implementation of the National Science and Technology Roadmap 2017-2030.
Asanye stated that the roadmap represented the desire to implement the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation designed to hasten innovation, economic growth and inclusive scientific development to meet national aspiration.
“The task before us is a shared responsibility to harness the full potential of our sub national for the national scientific landscape for environmental sustainability and curbing climate devastation. Each state has its unique demographic resourcefulness and if properly managed, would exponentially foster the culture of innovation at the grassroot level for sustainable development”,  she said.

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