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Business News

This research supports a case for lowering internet cost in Nigeria

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Internet browsing website company, Mozilla has provided an insight into why internet access is still a challenge in Nigeria. In a Mozilla backed research carried out by Research ICT Africa, they revealed that significant barriers to internet access remains in four African countries – Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

The research also aims to understand from a comparative perspective how the citizens use the internet when data is subsidized and when it is not.

Here is an excerpt on their findings from Nigeria;

Mozilla-backed research reveals affordability a barrier to internet access in Nigeria

Zero rated services are still relatively new to the Nigerian market, with Airtel launching Facebook’s Free Basics and Facebook Flex only last year. Awareness and use of zero rating remains low in Nigeria, a country which enjoys some of the cheapest data prices in Africa. Results of the research included the following findings:

  • Many rural users see the internet as their access to the civilized world and the gateway to the places around the globe where they have friends and family.
  • Overall awareness and use of the internet has gained traction especially as social interactions, business or career enabler, and majority of participants, whether in rural or urban areas, rank the purchase of data high on their personal expense list.
  • There is a general belief that mobile network operators charge a hidden tariff, and whatever airtime is on the phone will be eventually deducted by the operator if one subscribes to a subsidized service.
  • Many non-users want to use a “big phone” (a smartphone) and would rather wait until they can afford one than use a more limited version of the internet.
  • Though the price of brand new smartphones keeps dropping and they can be bought for as low as $20, affordability challenges persist.

“Even in a country with some of the lowest rates for data and devices in Africa, the cost of buying a smartphone in Nigeria is still a challenge for many,” said Dr Alison Gillwald, Executive Director or Research ICT Africa. “Affordability gets disproportionate attention, but we need to do much more to improve digital literacy and supply side issues like network quality and speed.”

“This research demonstrates that Nigerians want access to all of the internet, not just some parts of it,” said Jochai Ben-Avie, Senior Global Policy Manager at Mozilla. “If we’re to bring all the internet to all people, we need to do more to improve digital literacy and understanding of the internet, especially among low-income individuals and those in rural and deep rural communities. At Mozilla we believe in equal rating for all internet users so that this shared global resource is not held hostage by the wealthy.”

Bottom line

Despite the renewed drive by internet service providers to increase data cost in Nigeria, research shows the current cost of internet data is still a major barrier to access the internet in Nigeria and is increasing the divide between urban and rural users of the internet.

Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

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Energy

Agip shut oil facility in Bayelsa due to oil spillage, environmental pollution reported

Agip on Wednesday confirmed an oil leak, resulting in a shutdown.

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The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has confirmed the shutdown of its Idu oilfields at Egbebiri settlement within Biseni in Yenagoa Local Government Area in Bayelsa, due to an oil spillage.

A Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) report on the incident said that the leakage at the facility could be traced to equipment failure due to a rupture at the wellhead.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Eni, the parent company of NAOC, in a response statement, said the facility was shut down to prevent further damage to the environment.

READ: Shell wants oil spillage case tried in Nigeria, but victims say no 

What Eni is saying

An Eni spokesperson on behalf of the Italian Energy firm, in a statement, said, “As soon as the incident was reported, we activated our oil spill response, shut in the well, and notified government regulatory agencies.

“The Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on 09/05/2021, with the participation of community representatives and the government regulatory agencies.

“The event occurred within the Company’s wellhead location which is paved and walled round. There is no significant third-party impact,” Eni stated.

READ: UK court ruling affects acquisition of Shell’s oil block by Governor Wike 

Hotflex

Environmental Rights Group reports environmental degradation

An environmental rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), however, said that the incident which discharged crude and associated gas had severely polluted the environment.

The Non-Governmental Organisation said that a visit to the spill site showed pictorial evidence of the crude spreading beyond NAOC’s right of way as nearby vegetation were affected as a result of the crude impact.

The Head of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN, Mr Alagoa Morris, in a field report on the spill said the Idu fields was notorious for frequent spills caused by equipment failure.

He said, “The people of Egbebiri in Biseni kingdom have experienced several oil spills over the years. And all the oil spill incidents documented by the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) in this community environment have occurred as a result of equipment failure and on Wellheads.

“ERA/FoEN has had cause to visit the environment of Idu Well 5 and 11 located within the same place in the past and it has always been Idu Well 11 spewing crude oil into the environment.

“Available records from ERA/FoEN indicate that there have been previous oil spills from this particular Idu Well 11 operated by Agip. Before concluding this Field Report, ERA/FoEN confirmed that Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on Sunday, 9th May 2021.

“This is why the official Spill Reference No 2021/LAR/028/058 is indicated in this report; sourced from the JIV report. Cause of spill was attributed to equipment failure,” ERA/FoEN stated.

Jaiz bank

The report quoted a resident of the community simply identified as Georgie as saying that the spill incident of May 7 spilled oil from around 10 p.m till about 8 a.m the next day before the leak was stopped adding that the level of damage was enormous.

What you should know

It can be recalled that in a similar circumstance, Shell Petroleum Development Company reported an oil pipeline spillage at its Okordia-Rumekpe 14-inch crude truck line, discharging about 213 barrels of crude oil into the Ikarama community in Bayelsa State and polluting about 1.34 hectares of land.

This new leakage is the latest in a series of oil spillages by the multinational oil exploration and production companies, which has put them in conflict with the host communities.

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Energy

Nigeria records system collapse during holidays

Nigeria’s national electricity grid collapsed on Wednesday morning.

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Abuja, Ikeja Discos top list in collection efficiency in Q1 2020- NERC, Estates in Lekki increase electricity tariff to N105/kWh, Eko Electric, Ikeja and 5 others to face NERC sanction for non-compliance, CBN reveals framework for financing National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), Nigeria ranks eight African country with well-developed electricity regulatory frameworks, as Uganda tops.

The Nigerian grid has experienced a partial collapse, dealing a blow for stay at home Nigerians during the holidays.

This was confirmed in a statement by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), as seen by Nairametrics.

What EKEDC is saying about the grid collapse:

“Dear customer, there is a partial system collapse on the National Grid. Our TCN partners are working to restore supply immediately. Please bear with us.”

According to latest reports, partial restoration of power is already occurring across the country.

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