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Nigerians pick on MTN, Airtel, request for free data, airtime not SMS

Some Nigerians took to Twitter to lament over the actions of MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria demanding for more than just free SMS

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Internet World Stats, Nigerian Communications Commission remittance, Network operators in Nigeria, Telecoms companies in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, Airtel Africa, Globacom data, 9mobile court case, Top 10 states in Nigeria with the highest Internet subscribers , Telecommunications: The bright spot in a fragile economy, Telcos add 5.64 million voice and data subscribers in Q3 2019 - NBS , Alleged N200bn Debt: EFCC, DSS to probe telcos, Network glitch, as poor internet speed continues to impede banking services, Telecoms record 725% increase in foreign capital investment, as GDP contribution hits N6 trillion, Coronavirus: Instant messaging platforms, Telcos raking in funds from the work-from-home policy, Telecoms: Bright spot amidst the gloom, Nigerians lambast MTN, Airtel for offering free SMS, ignoring request for free data, airtime

Some Nigerians took to Twitter to lament over the actions of MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria, Telecommunications firms. The telcos had promised their subscribers free SMS, as they comply with the sit at home order of the Federal Government.

The telcos took the decision after the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, appealed to them via his Twitter to offer their subscribers free data or airtime.

Keyamo made the appeal in order to ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on Nigerian workers, but instead, MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria chose to offer their subscribers free SMS.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Airtel Nigeria said, “Airtel announces free SMS to all customers to connect with loved ones. Free SMS can be sent to all your friends and family across any network.” On the other hand, MTN Nigeria said it customers can send free 10 SMS daily for 30 days.

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Nigerians castigated the Telcos:

But this act of generosity did not go down well with Nigerians who stormed the Twitter accounts of these telcos to let register their displeasure. @Drmuzoic responded to MTN, stating, “We need data to work effectively from home and stay abreast of new updates online. Take your SMS and reduce the price of data.” 

[READ MORE: Nigerians react as DStv donates N1.2 billion, demand free subscription amidst Coronavirus lockdown)

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Another twitter user, @onyipomping said, “We don’t need free SMS. Give us free data. Stingy network” While supporting Onyipomping, @Ajayidoying stated, “We hardly send SMS, we want data. SMS to do what?” 

Meanwhile, @KelvinAganbi tweeted, “In other news, you are giving all your customers #1,200. Please convert mine to data. Thank you.” @official_dlaw seconded Aganbi’s tweet, “That’s 2gig data na based on their current price. How hard could it be,” he asked MTN Nigeria

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Also, @Amally_A told MTN Nigeria, “Data would have been better or even appreciated, SMS is outdated, reduce the price of subscription even if you can’t make it free, be considerate during this trying time.” 

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@screengoddez tweeted, “This Life we need data more than sms. MTN Nigeria is just playing with Nigerians. Why won’t they gift their customers data and phone call airtime? When they know Nigerians rarely send SMS these days because there are various messaging and social media apps for texts.” 

Subscribers of Airtel Nigeria also lamented, with @obagomez1 stating, “Nice gesture, but in all honesty; 65% of your consumer base are more “internet/data” driven. I’d be glad to see a rolled out data price slash and higher lasting data volume even for 14days.” 

The free offer also didn’t go down well with @duckieworld1 who tweeted, “When someone can send message on WhatsApp and other social media. You came up with SMS. You would have just said MMS make we know say na Stone Age we de. Well it is a matter of t.” 

@illest_rukboi had no kind words for the red network, stating, “Thunder will keee u people and your SMS. Shebi una thin say na multilinks era na im  we dey abi. Animals” 

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[READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigerians in diaspora have not asked to be evacuated – FG)

@Zadokzibar said, “Simply slash the price of data.. That’s all…… What is SMS.” 

Why Nigerians are not satisfied: Most people hardly use SMS now. The internet has enabled platforms like WhatsApp send long messages that SMS can’t convey. Also, most people now work-from-home following the lockdown by the Federal Government.

And with data price still on the high-side, it’s expected that the preference will be data and not SMS because the later is limited in function, but data enables internet users do more things on the web.

 

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Efe

    April 3, 2020 at 7:06 am

    All this Telecom companies are simply overriding and exploiting us, they don’t do this sh*ts in other countries. Can MTN do same thing in South Africa? What did Airtel do in India? Anyway, this poor treatments is largely because even the so called Nigerian regulators are more interested in filling up their individual pockets than actually doing their jobs. It’s a sorry situation.

  2. Suleiman Nazifi

    April 3, 2020 at 8:44 am

    pls we need free Data not Free 300 SmS.

  3. Anonymous

    April 3, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    This Telecommunication companies are just messed up in Nigeria. Smh

  4. Andrew Joshua

    April 4, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Both MTN and AIRTEL
    on behalf of both MTN and AIRTEL customers…. I will like to show our appreciation on the free SMS
    GLO that is from NIGERIA did nothing to its country….. Thanks alot to MTN and AIRTEL

  5. Sam chukwu

    April 4, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Are u an MTN user? How much have you spent on data since covid-19 outbreak? Do u think MTN appreciate ur patronage by giving u N300 worth of sms for a month? Do u think MTN should do more? Join the protest……..
    #staysafewithdata
    #lockdownwithdata
    #connectwithdata
    Please share

    • Anonymous

      April 17, 2020 at 1:05 pm

      We need data not SMS,

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Corporate Press Releases

PAC Trustees webinar highlights seamless access to credit facilities for organizations  

The webinar was geared towards enlightening the general public about the necessary requirement for ensuring a smooth lending process for corporations irrespective of size.

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PAC Trustees Limited, a leading Trust company in Nigeria on Tuesday 24th November hosted financial experts in a conversation about the role of Corporate Trustees in Credit administration.

The one day-event, which held virtually, was geared towards enlightening the general public about the necessary requirement for ensuring a smooth lending process for corporations irrespective of size.

The Virtual discussion follows the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the reduction of the benchmark interest rate to 11.5%, from 12.5% amongst other updates from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held in September.

Kicking off the virtual event with his opening remarks, the Managing Director of PAC Trustees, Yinka Adegbola highlighted the current standing of PAC Trustees as a Corporate Trustee to many organizations including the Lagos state government, Ogun State government as well as the 50 Billion Agro Bond when he listed some of the services and products offered.

In his remark, he added that the role of credit administrators is only one of the many services the Trust company offers including products such as, PAC Celebrity Trust, PAC Diaspora Trust and PAC Education Trust can attest to this.

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Taking the first shot as a speaker at the webinar, Heritage Bank’s Acting Chief Risk Officer, Enterprise Bank Management, Kehinde Olugbemi began by stating the relevance of credit administrators in the borrowing process while emphasizing on the necessary qualities these administrators should possess which is mostly obtainable among Trust companies.

During his presentation, using significant scenarios, he reiterated the relevance of Trustees in credit administration. However, he urged Trust Organizations to stay abreast with regulations and governance guidelines.

Trust Companies inclusive of PAC Trustees are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other guidelines. There is therefore an expectation that they work within the confines of the law. As such, the Trust Administration Memo should explicitly capture salient issues and relevant administrative charges as dictated by governing regulations,” he declared.

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On his part, the Global Chairman, Tokunbo Orimobi Legal Group, Michael Orimobi, shed light on security documentation.

The astute commercial lawyer shared that, “nomenclature can be confusing and it has therefore become necessary to go into the substance of the document to actually understand what it is really referring to.”

He concluded by admonishing lawyers to not only focus on documentation but to most importantly advise clients on the appropriate transaction and security structure for the deal which often determines the documentation process and helps in avoiding the common problems of over-collateralisation and under-collateralisation.

Following the presentations, attendees of the virtual event were given the opportunity to ask questions, many of which were succinctly answered by Mr. Orimobi.

After which, the Executive Director of PanAfrican Capital Holdings Limited, Eric Okoruwa shared a vote of thanks with honourable accolades to attendees and panelists.

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PAC Trustees Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of PanAfrican Capital Holdings Limited. Incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission and duly registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the organization focuses on providing Trust services in three (3) major areas – Private Trust, Public Trust and Corporate Trust

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A recording of the session can be found here https://bit.ly/2JaSbb4 using the code, FkTw7iO!

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Corporate Press Releases

Benefits of having an immutable ledger to the healthcare system

EHR Data’s vision is for both the healthcare industry and individual patients to benefit from the blockchain platform housing healthcare records.

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Technological progress has paved the way for advancements in medical science; and ample healthcare data that has made momentous contributions in the treatment of various diseases. However, there is still a lot more to be done. The current pandemic has shown everyone that data silos are not equipped to handle a huge amount of healthcare information. So many people are dying all over the world; and many of these can be prevented with enough transparent patient data within the healthcare sector.

In the latest Bitcoin news, on the second day of the CoinGeek Live conference, data platform EHR Data presented their concept of clinical healthcare data that are stored, shared and managed at an individual level on the blockchain, which is a globally distributed digital ledger.

Currently, healthcare data are stored and accessed only on private servers and transferred to third parties who request for the data. According to Chief Clinical Officer Cheryl Jorgenson, real-time clinical information cannot be accessed, clinical services cannot be tracked and there is nonexistent workflow integration in data structures at present. Patients also have no say in how their healthcare history is stored. Many even find themselves in a bind when trying to access their own personal healthcare data.

Blockchain Technology Used for Healthcare Data

Satoshi Nakamoto first used blockchain technology as an immutable database where all Bitcoin transactions are stored. It is distributed in that all nodes on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) network have a copy of the blockchain; and it is immutable because data recorded on the blockchain cannot be changed or altered.

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Headed by Jorgenson, Chief Scientist & Consultant Ron Austring and Director of Product Design Joseph Eckstein, EHR Data proposed that a marriage between healthcare data and blockchain technology is the solution to the lack of transparent healthcare data. This will then create the world’s biggest health data set. EHR Data envisions healthcare records to be stored at a personal level, meaning patients will have control over who can access their data, on what terms and for how long.

Healthcare data on the blockchain can have multiple uses through micro transactions and smart contracts. In building this blockchain platform, EHR Data said they hope to improve the way private healthcare data is accessed, managed and even monetized. This is certainly big Bitcoin news for blockchain technology to be used in such a relevant manner.

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Benefits of Housing Healthcare Data on the Blockchain Platform

EHR Data’s vision is for both the healthcare industry and individual patients to benefit from the blockchain platform housing healthcare records.

  • This data model is built with the capacity to assimilate to the various systems being used by hospitals and other medical organizations. Inter- and intra-operability of data is the main objective—being able to provide “a single source of truth powered by the BSV blockchain.”
  • Through the use of the BSV blockchain, which is highly scalable, this new data system can widen its range to more states, more countries and more drug types. It will consolidate healthcare data and systems into a more practical and accessible format.
  • Consumers of healthcare need not remain as mere consumers anymore. This proposed model allows patients to benefit from more positive health results and lowered healthcare costs brought about by an upgraded data structure. Individuals can also earn money by allowing medical and pharmaceutical institutions to gain access to their personal healthcare data for research and other uses.

This most recent Bitcoin news could not have come at a better time. With the ongoing pandemic, this proposed model of using the BSV blockchain to power a new healthcare data system not only serves to benefit national and global healthcare, but also provides individuals with a new source of income.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The AU and Africa CDC have revealed that they have reached out to both China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union announced they have been in talks with China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships to ensure that Africa is not left behind when vaccines become available.

This was disclosed by John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Chief, at the Bloomberg Invest Africa online conference.

READ: Covid-19: Pfizer to file for emergency authorization for its vaccine, reaches safety milestone

Mr. Nkengasong said that Africa would not limit itself to only one vaccine partner and that Africa was willing to work with as many partners as possible to provide a vaccine for its 1.2 billion people.

“We are not limiting ourselves to any particular partner. As a continent of 1.2 billion people, we are willing to work with any partner who adheres to our strategic plan for vaccine development and access in Africa.

“The continent is taking the access and development of vaccine very, very seriously. We really need to see clinical trials being done on the continent, so they address issues like background infections from other diseases.”
He disclosed that the Africa CDC resumed talks last week with China, to discuss partnerships with Chinese Drug Manufacturers and also clinical trials in Africa. He added that Russia has been approached with a similar plan.

He said that the WHO Covax programme only covers 20% of the population, but Africa will need 60% of its population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

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There are multiple avenues being explored now to make sure Africa has the appropriate doses of vaccines and also that we have that in a timely fashion, not in a delayed manner,” Nkengasong said.

He revealed that the AFREXIM Bank agreed to finance vaccine procurement with $5 billion and is waiting to see how much it will receive from World Bank’s $12 billion vaccine procurement fund for developing nations.

READ: COVID-19: G-20 to extend debt relief to developing nations

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What you should know 

Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Pfizer Inc. disclosed that its experimental vaccine, which is jointly developed with BioNTech, was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on initial data from a large study in the ongoing phase 3 trials.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: AstraZeneca vaccine could be 90% effective against the virus)

Last week, a pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc., stated that its COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.

The G-20 nations also announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that could not afford it. The leaders also unveiled a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria also announced through the Ministry of Health, that it would inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.

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