There are strong indications that Nigerians may soon begin to experience poor internet connectivity in the coming days, owing to the inability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to renew their expired licenses.
About 17 ISPs with expired licenses, due for renewal since February this year have failed to do so. The affected companies are supposedly lacking the financial capacity needed to fulfill this obligation to the Nigerian Communications Commission.
In total, there are currently about 39 expired or almost expired ISP licenses in Nigeria, according to the NCC.
Investigations by Punch Newspaper revealed that most of the affected companies are yet to approach the NCC regarding their renewals.
The investigations further revealed that some of the companies with expired licenses as at February this year include: Adiv Networks and ACC Broadcast Multimedia. The following companies’ licenses will also be expiring soonest- Telcoworks Connect Limited, VPS Technologies, and Internet Solutions Nigeria, etc.
An insider at the NCC, who spoke to Punch Newspaper on conditions of anonymity, said that the average individual license category costs half a million naira. Bearing this in mind, therefore, possibilities abound that the NCC will definitely impose sanctions on the defaulting ISPs for their failure to make their payments which run into millions of naira.
Individual licence category costs ₦500,000 for a period of five years and the failure of 39 ISPs to remit ₦19.5m to the NCC will call for regulatory sanctions, which may lead to the grounding of their operations. -Source
Why this poses a threat to Nigerians and Nigerian businesses
The possible sanctions/grounding of the operations of the defaulting ISPs will most definitely affect them. But in addition, millions of Nigerians and businesses will also be impacted negatively. This is because many Nigerians and businesses depend on the ISPs for their daily internet connections; which are by the way indispensable.
In other words, internet connectivity in Nigeria, which is bad on a normal day, will become worse in the event that the NCC impose sanctions on ISPs over their inability to renew licenses.
Also, the likelihood of the affected companies losing their customers abounds. This is because said customers may likely seek alternatives; as they have to be online by all means.
Meanwhile, a harsh economic environment is affecting ISPs…
According to the CEO of one of the affected companies, a harsh business environment and unhealthy competitions from big operators are some of the factors affecting ISPs in the country. According to them, “as entrepreneurs, once a particular enterprise fails to yield income, the best thing is to branch out to other ventures.”
Confirming this situation, Ms. Funlola Akiode, who is the Director of Licensing and Authorisation at NCC, said that the challenges facing ISPs in Nigeria pose as a major source of worry. According to her, “active ISPs in the country are not coming up for license renewal because of their poor ability to compete with the ‘Big Four’.”
Note that many Nigerian businesses (particularly those in the e-commerce sector) depend on constant internet connectivity for their daily operations. It is, therefore, important that the regulator and the affected companies figure out a way to sort the problem.
Agip shut oil facility in Bayelsa due to oil spillage, environmental pollution reported
Agip on Wednesday confirmed an oil leak, resulting in a shutdown.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nigeria records system collapse during holidays
Nigeria’s national electricity grid collapsed on Wednesday morning.
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.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
Access our Live Feed portal for the latest company earnings as they drop.
- Seplat Petroleum Development Company postpones Q1 2021 dividend payment date.
- FMDQ approves quotation of MTN’s Commercial Paper worth N73.5 billion.
- MTN Nigeria issues a 7-Year Series 1 bond worth N110 billion.
- Caverton Offshore Support Group reports profit after tax of N520 million in Q1 2021.
- Okomu Oil proposes dividend worth N6.7 billion for shareholders.