I Have Had Enough In Africa.

Filed under: Global Issues |

I Have Had Enough In Africa

I remember making a presentation in one of the many government ministries in Nigeria, a work to pilot the initial phase of an online viability protocol for the ministry, where they can practically test out their newly acquired devices and visualize its concurrent functional display in their online portal, for proper data analysis and capturing. For this presentation to be whole, Internet MUST be utilized. On getting to the interesting part of my presentation, the PRACTICAL session, where everyone will have a first eye view of what the forty-five minutes theoretical gesture had been all about, the Internet in the ministry went “zero bar”. Several minutes passed, yet nothing happened. While all those disturbing delay was going on, i was making extra attempt to connect with my mobile network in order not to kill the enthusiasm i saw in their eyes…my mobile network was even more frustrating than theirs that refused to come up.

Couple of weeks ago i was in Ghana, scheduled to join via Skype, a TV Show from Kenya, KTN Africa Show hosted by Joy Doreen Biira. I connected, some seconds later i received the Skype call, i answered, heard her “hello” and an introductory remark for some few seconds and that was it, everything went blank, no voice, no image, no video preview, nothing. Having a feeling that the interview couldn’t work anymore due to terrible network, i sent her an APOLOGY message opting out of the Show.

Flash forward, just a few days ago i got another invite from Joy Biira, the KTNAfrica TV Show host, to join her talk show on the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy campaign and the issue of the over 200 abducted schoolgirls from Chibok Community in the North-Eastern part of the country, i obliged. On the scheduled date, i prepared heavily knowing the disappointments i’ve had in the past as regards Internet connectivity. Got separate Globacom Modem to add to my Etisalat and Airtel Modem (MTN is no go area). In spite of this preparation, the Skype call didn’t go through as none of the network was strong enough to power it. We ended up having a PHONE interview.

The narratives above are just a few of the many disappointing experiences many of us have had with Internet connectivity or network stability in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. In Africa, Nigeria pays the highest money on telecommunication or to Telcos, yet there’s no return value for this money. Even though there is the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, whose duty it is to regulate the activities of the Telcos in order to make sure that adequate services are offered to the people, even though there is the ministry of communications technology that overseas all these processes, the very poor network continue to prevail while the people pay very high.

The government over the years has set up committees through the Senate, through the House of Representatives, but all of these committees never changed the condition of network service in Nigeria. A big part of the reason why these committees amounted to nothing was as a result of the massive corruption that have held the nation hostage for decades. The network providers themselves don’t have the sense of responsibility as no one is there to keep them in check let alone query them when they function below expected threshold. For telecommunication providers in Nigeria, in Africa to offer an adequately efficient network service, the government across all African nations, must set a benchmark they cannot go below. Failure to meet up with this, will attract heavy sanction with warning of licence withdrawal and service termination.

Change is never easy! It was never easy for Mathin Luther King Jr, it wasn’t easy for Lee kwuan Yu, it wasn’t easy for Nelson Mandela nor Mahatma Gandih…change was never easy for countries like the United States of America, Russia, Germany, China, United Kingdom etc, but they all found a way and today, they are setting the pace. We as individuals in our various leadership cadre, we as a country, wielding the topmost power in the continent of Africa, must dig deep to find out how those that have done it in the past, did it.

God bless Nigeria!