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Wednesday 12th May, 2021

Opinion

Africa In Motion: Accelerating Africa’s Digital Future

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Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa

By Fadi PHARAON

As a continent with very high potential for growing economies, how can African countries accelerate their digital adoption and leapfrog into a new era of socio-economic prosperity?

This could be achieved by leveraging new technologies that make it easier to conduct business, raise productivity and efficiency while encouraging an inclusive society. Embracing new ways of enabling positive change will boost livelihoods, promote financial inclusion and improve access to health, education, government services and more.

With the ambition of supporting the acceleration of Africa’s digitization journey, we are working jointly with our customers – the service providers – and other stakeholders across the continent to enable #AfricaInMotion.

Digitization Boosting Economies

We believe that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is the catalyst for digital transformation, with mobile networks being the crucial ingredient in increasing Africa’s economic competitiveness in the global arena. While we have witnessed impressive market developments in recent years, Africa’s ICT sector still has growth potential compared to leading economies.

As digital infrastructure and transaction become increasingly impactful to the development of the African societies and economies, affordable broadband access will need to be extended to over a billion individuals to bridge the “digital divide” and enable them to reap the benefits of the digital economy.

The Ericsson Mobility Report shows us that, by 2025, 77% of subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa are expected to be for mobile broadband, while in Sub-Saharan Africa mobile broadband subscriptions will increase to reach around 72% of mobile subscriptions. Mobile broadband connectivity not only offers great potential to transform cities and industries, but it enables connectivity as a basic human right; fostering inclusion and making a positive, sustainable economic impact.

With our commitment to innovation and a long history of engaging in Africa’s telecom industry, we at Ericsson are driven to deliver the next-generation technology solutions to Africa. These can enable sweeping changes to industrial production, allowing seamless access to social services and provide people with ways of living harmoniously with their environment.

Sustainability Through Connectivity

Bridging the “digital divide” is a demanding journey both for the public sector and the telecoms industry. This carries the significant potential to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa. In order to achieve that, we have a continuous ongoing journey serving several parameters.

And the story just begins here. We strongly believe in the importance of education for the economic development of Africa by building the right foundation to propel a steady eco-system. Our efforts to support education in Africa are a continuous determination and for that, we are proud to launch our three-year global partnership with UNICEF that will help map school connectivity in 35 countries by the end of 2023. Our partnership will support the UN’s Giga initiative, a global program led by UNICEF and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that aims to connect every school to the Internet.

Another key example in supporting education is our “Connect to Learn” program, an initiative that implements Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in schools often in resource-poor settings to enhance the quality and access to teaching and learning resources in a safe, cost-effective, and user-friendly way. The program uses the power of mobility, broadband and cloud solutions. Since 2008, we have helped to connect over 500,000 people, students and teachers at remote villages across 10 sub-Saharan countries with technology tools, digital learning resources and new interactive forms of teaching pedagogies.

Furthermore, another testimony that reiterates our efforts in supporting education, is our recently announced “Ericsson Educate” initiative with UNESCO.  In response to how the global COVID-19 Pandemic, UNESCO and Ericsson have  launched a new portal for teaching Artificial Intelligence (AI) to children. Teaching AI is a learning program, which includes a free, multi-lingual artificial intelligence (AI) skills portal that can be accessed globally by parents and teachers, enabling them to support children and students in-home learning environments to learn about AI.

Additionally, we have also launched recently our Digital Lab program in South Africa. The program represents Ericsson’s commitment to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals – especially Goal #4, with the aim of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. The Ericsson Digital Lab program is an innovative education program targeted towards older children to support them in their first encounters with the world of programming and new technologies.

The program started in Gothenburg, Sweden, as a collaboration with Universeum, a public science centre based in Gothenburg. During 2019-20 the program was expanded to South Africa. We partnered with “Wot-If? Trust” to bring this innovative digital skills program to the youth in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, South Africa and our ambition is to expand this initiative to more young students across Africa.

On the other hand, we also focus on another fundamental goal and that is financial inclusion through the use of digital technology which is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across the continent, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities. One key example to showcase our efforts in that area is our Ericsson Wallet Platform that allows users to store, transfer and withdraw money; pay merchants and utility providers, and use financial services such as savings and loans.

With connectivity acting as a critical enabler of social and economic change, sustainable technologies that support the SDGs are the need of the hour. According to Ericsson research, ICT solutions could help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 15% by 2030, amounting to around ten gigatons of CO2e—more than the current carbon footprint of the EU and US combined. Examples of areas where the savings can be enabled by ICT solutions are transportation, energy, industries and agriculture. This is reflected in our initiatives such as Ericsson Weather Data and Mixed Reality for Urban Design.

Clearly, the SDGs provide a unique opportunity for interesting discussions that will lead to more multi-sectoral partnerships and opportunities that will help spur progress towards meeting the goals.

Partnerships and Collaborations for Societal Impact

What is now needed is a framework that facilitates harnessing the power of ICTs to foster inclusive socio-economic development across Africa. However, this bridging of the digital divide – which promises to level the global playing field so Africa can achieve its full potential – requires a well-planned policy and regulatory environment.

A conducive, enabling policy environment that generates regulatory certainty is key to encouraging market development through partnerships, entrepreneurship, job creation and knowledge sharing. Factors like:

  • Timely availability of ample, cost-effective and harmonized spectral resources
  • Support of long-term stable network regulations that uphold the principle of technology neutrality, stimulate investments and foster infrastructure competition
  • Provision of a free flow of data, while ensuring data protection, privacy and security regulation

We at Ericsson Middle East and Africa are constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate and engage with partners across the board to facilitate such policy development to fast-tracking digitization across the African continent and our recent collaboration with the African Telecommunications Union is one clear example.

Fostering and Empowering Local Talents

At Ericsson, we strongly believe in the great competencies of the local talents in each market where we operate and for that, we continue to offer our employees opportunities that guide and supports them from knowledge, competence, and skill development perspective — to foster an innovative, high-impact learning culture focused on continuous development.

Additionally, coaching and mentoring are critical elements of career development at Ericsson. We have best-in-class mentors who guide our people in Africa through every stage of their career, empowering them to seek more learning and growth opportunities.

One of the initiatives we launched in-light of our efforts to supporting young talents is our “Ericsson Graduates Program “, a program that will offer fresh graduates a chance to join experienced Ericsson staff for on-the-job, online and classroom learning followed by recruitment to join the Ericsson world. The program also engages with young talents from Africa -the Change makers-to explore and identify innovative ideas that reflect and capture the needs of the continent with an ambition to accelerate the African markets’ digitalization journey.

The Changemakers attend multidisciplinary sessions with Ericsson specialists spanning across technology, business and entrepreneur to empower and enable them to ideate and work on their ideas in a well-rounded approach. Our ambition is to continue with this program and train and hire more fresh graduates in the coming period.

When it comes to empowering young talents and innovation, we can proudly mention the Ericsson Innovation Awards (EIA), a global competition that gives university students the opportunity to turn their ideas into reality by collaborating with EIA mentors. In 2018, a team from Senegal has been selected as the overall winner of the Ericsson Innovation Awards winning an amount of 25,000 Euros for their idea that addresses lack of school labs in Africa. This year we are excited to launch the same competition very soon and we look forward to receiving ideas from young students from Africa and across the world.

Accelerating the Future

As we look ahead, it’s clear that Africa shows significant promise for economic, technological and infrastructure growth over the coming years. Yet, there are still many challenges we must overcome if we are to deliver real sustainable change for all.

While there are parts of the continent trialling 5G services, majority of countries remain to focus on 3G and 4G as smartphone affordability improves year on year. The development of advanced wireless digital infrastructure is an integral part of Africa’s growing economy. Mobile broadband access has proved to be an essential driver of an inclusive information society that integrates digitization in all critical aspects of life, such as education, transport, health, energy and even homeland security. Never has this been more evident than during the current COVID 19 pandemic.

Ericsson focuses on assuring best-performing networks in Africa, while also offering the best digital services and solutions to our customers. Our aim is to create a unique customer experience evolving from networks adopting automation, artificial intelligence and analytics. One of our focus areas also is reducing time-to-market and flexibility in launching services for our customers towards their subscribers. From an operations perspective, we emphasise driving service delivery efficiency through the adoption of advanced tools. We will continue our purposeful growth of mobile broadband, fixed wireless access and fintech services so that our service provider partners reach out to further communities across the continent.

Our promise to Africa

Tackling the digital divide, continuing to build a robust ICT infrastructure, promoting sustainability, innovation, education and entrepreneurship will be critical for maximizing the role of technology in boosting resilience and inclusive growth in Africa.

By achieving that, Africa will experience a paradigm shift on all levels with new game-changers as e-health, e-government and e-education; the African society will accelerate into a much economically advanced nation. However, a collaboration between the different stakeholders in the ecosystem becomes even more important than ever to achieve this vision.

Our promise and commitment towards Africa are to always support a world where digitalization is transforming the eco-system; enabling sustainable growth, economic development and opening up opportunities for all.

To accelerate our promise to Africa and achieve a true impact, we are looking forward to supporting our customers in their quest, bringing our latest innovation, leveraging our global skill and scale to the benefit of Africa’s digital development.

Fadi Pharaon is President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa

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Opinion

Pantami: The Alternative Conversation

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By Sunny Jackson EYIBIO

If some public affairs commentators and their partisan associates have their way, the next head to be placed in the hangman’s noose is that of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who is better known as Sheikh Pantami.

As Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Pantami remained in obscurity in his previous public office. All that will, however, change soon.

Nominated and confirmed as Minister in August 2019, Pantami’s posting to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is no doubt fit and proper.

Not only had he acquitted himself in one of the agencies of his new responsibility, his background as a computer science and technology management graduate, plus a doctorate in Computer Science, with specialisation in Computer Information System adequately prepared him for his ministerial portfolio. This is not the tale of a square peg in a round hole.

In less than two years in office, Pantami has justified President Muhammadu Buhari’s confidence in the 48-year-old Sheikh. The new Ministry, under his watch, has rolled out two strategic documents for the sector – the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, and the National Broadband Plan.

While yet to celebrate his first year on the Ministerial seat, Pantami frontally tackled the issue of excessive Right of Way charges and vandalism of telecommunication infrastructure, which had nagged the sector for decades.

With Pantami in charge at the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, broadband penetration increased by about 10 per cent in a year, instead of the average annual increase of about 1.7 per cent.

According to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report for the second quarter of last year, as compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics, Information Communication Technology (ICT) contributed an unprecedented 17.83 per cent to the GDP. ICT was also the fastest-growing sector of the Nigerian economy in the fourth quarter of last year contributing 14.7 per cent.

Pantami also initiated the first virtual Federal Executive Council meeting on the 13th of May 2020 and has been coordinating the technical aspects of the meetings since then.

To critics of Sheikh Pantami, all these do not matter. Not even the passion with which he drives the generation of a database for the country through the National Identity Card scheme will assuage his traducers. In a country that lacks accurate figures to aid developmental activities, this should have attracted the minister’s applause.

Why did they rail against Pantami? His religious views stand tall among other factors. In his youthful years, he held extremist religious views, which aligned with those of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda.

The allegation went further that Sheikh Pantami had become a subject of special interest by the United States authorities which placed him on a “terror watch list”. That satanic charge was quickly debunked and the media outlets that fed on the lie quickly pulled down their fallacious stories.

Yes, Pantami called al-Qaeda members “fellow Muslims” in his preaching over two decades ago. Anyone without malicious intent will know that there is no big deal with that.

Many prominent Muslims and others sympathised with that ideological segment whose primary mission is to remove all foreign influences in Muslim countries.

The terror group attracted support from many Muslims in Nigeria, particularly during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq following the 11th September 2001 attacks on the United States. Pro- al-Qaeda rallies were held in many Nigerian cities, including Kano where the US flag was set ablaze and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden celebrated.

Of course, the anti-Pantami gang chose to forget that al-Qaeda came around to pronounce him persona non grata afterwards. That is the same man who is now vilified for his views held at the time it was popular among a lot of Muslims to do so.

Clearly, Pantami got wiser as he grew older. While he could be accused of being anti-establishment in his youthful years, which made him preached against working in a secular government, he must have seen value in secular education that he embraced it firmly as if his life depended on it.

Pantami went through every Western education scale and excelled and today holds a PhD from Robert Gordon University, Scotland. In addition to that, he holds certificates in Digital Transformation from Harvard University, Digital Strategy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Institute of Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland.

He did a Strategic Leadership programme at Oxford University, plus a Certification in Management from the University of Cambridge.

The Scriptures document how Saul persecuted Christians in the early days. But on the road to Damascus to continue his hate agenda, Saul experienced a blinding light and heard God’s voice. The result was a sudden and complete change in his beliefs.

Saul became Apostle Paul, one of the zealot preachers recorded by the Holy Bible.

The substantive issues are being ignored in the anti-Pantami narration. He has long repented from his radical ways, but his traducers will not see beyond that and view the revolution he has brought into his job at the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

The aggressive build-up of our national database through the National Identity Number is a revolution that will benefit national development and growth if allowed to run its course.

Sunny Jackson EYIBIO

Pantami has commenced a radical transformation in the ICT sector. He should be allowed to see it through.

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Opinion

eCommerce: How Konga Saved My Family During The Peak Of COVID-19

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By Mrs. X

Nigeria has fared fairly well with the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when compared with its counterparts in other parts of the world and against the backdrop of some worrisome predictions which pegged the country’s shabby public health care system as a potential source of concern.

India, for instance, is battling a terrible resurgence of the pandemic while the UK and others are only just lifting some severe restrictions.

To date, Nigeria has recorded a little over 2,000 deaths, which for a country of an estimated 180 million people, represents a very good figure. For many, divine providence is one of the reasons that Nigeria has remained fairly immune from the sad tales being told by other countries who have racked up huge casualties since the pandemic began its rampaging run across the globe.

This is so because the Nigerian primary, secondary and tertiary health care systems, as highlighted earlier, fall short of the standards obtain globally.

Moreso, the predilection of many to flout basic preventive measures, such as wearing face masks, observing social distance and improvement of personal hygiene is well known in this part of the world; with many Nigerians attending parties and other gatherings even at the height of the pandemic and the social status of the majority meaning that public transportation systems are often crammed with passengers and open-air markets filled to the brim, with scant regard for the principles of physical distancing.

The foregoing, however, does not mean that we did not suffer some of the ravaging effects of the pandemic. A number of prominent Nigerians, many of them with underlying ailments, lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the efforts of some of the best hospitals in Nigeria and beyond to save them.

Many families also lost loved ones, especially after one or two of their members had the misfortune of contracting the dreaded virus.

The above would have been the fate of my family but we have Konga to thank for seeing us through one of the darkest periods of our life.

On Tuesday morning in June 2020, we had woken up to my husband coughing and sneezing heavily. This was in the middle of the government-imposed lockdown. My husband and I, both white-collar professionals, had been taking stringent measures to guard against being infected with COVID-19. At the first hint of trouble, all our kids had been withdrawn from schools and were being home-schooled by their teachers virtually.

Also, my husband and I had started alternating the days we went to the office. Both of us, by virtue of our positions at our respective places of work, could not work from home totally. Therefore, we selected the days on which we went to work, which did not exceed thrice in a week.

In addition, we made sure we strictly observed all laid-down measures to prevent infection. We even stopped our official drivers at the time in order to reduce the possibility of contracting the virus from exposure to them. Our home was fumigated and all visitors were barred.

So, when my husband woke up with that recurring cough and sneezes, we dismissed it as a potential case of a common cold. However, when it got worse upon his return from the office that day, we feared the worst. Our fears were confirmed after a couple of days when his test result came back positive for COVID-19. Before then, I had started isolating myself and the kids from him, solely as a preventive measure but that seemed like a measure too late.

After three days, I lost all sense of taste and smell, which had also been identified by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as a symptom of COVID. Consequently, I submitted myself as well as our kids for sampling. Of the family of seven, five of us tested positive for the virus, leaving only two of the kids negative at the time.

It was a shattering discovery and one of the most depressing periods of my life. But we could not keep wallowing in self-pity. We had to take action. Immediately, my husband and I took the decision to protect the two kids who had managed to evade contracting the virus. One of our relatives who resided close by in Lekki had come to pick up the two kids after another round of tests which confirmed their negative status.

The next couple of weeks proved to be arguably the hardest and most nerve-racking I have faced as a mother and caregiver. We had reached out to the NCDC hotline to notify them of our status but we were told at the time that bed spaces at the isolation centres were a bit limited. Consequently, we were given a list of medications to be taken on a daily basis, while being asked to hold on for an update on our evacuation to the isolation centre.

But that was the beginning of our worries.

Barely 24 hours after discovering our positive COVID-19 status, a power surge wreaked havoc in the house, damaging the large TV set in the living room and a few other appliances. Our depression levels went up a notch as the TV set was one of our major sources of keeping up with developments in the outside world.

In view of our status, we could not risk going out to the markets in order to limit the chances of infecting others. Our supplies were running dangerously low, however, and we needed to replenish them. We also needed to get the medications recommended by the NCDC. The youngest member of the family, my two-year-old toddler, also had some special dietary needs and other requirements which we urgently needed to source.

Having being exposed to e-Commerce, my husband and I had reached out to one of the players in the market and explained our plight.

It seemed, however, that informing them of our COVID-19 status was a mistake. We were told by the agent who picked up the call that they would get back to us shortly. It was after we had waited nearly 18 hours without feedback and placed another call – which was dropped abruptly after we repeated our request – that we realized we were in trouble.

At this stage, our little baby was almost down to the last tin of food and his diapers were already exhausted. He had resorted to crying for long hours. For the rest of the family, we were also on the verge of starvation. We could not get a family member or friend to source the items as news of our COVID-19 status had spread and many were keeping their distance from us, as was expected.

My husband and I were confused and at our wit’s end.

Suddenly, my husband had a brain wave and recalled seeing a Konga advert on TV, urging Nigerians to stay safe by observing all laid-down COVID-19 preventive measures. I must confess, at this juncture, that prior to that moment, we had never shopped with Konga, even though a couple of our relatives had often talked up the company and their services.

My husband decided to take a chance and placed a call through to the Konga call centre after checking up the number online. The soothing but professional voice of the call centre representative at the other end of the line was a relief. She listened to our story and proceeded to reassure us that our request would be given special attention. The agent took down our orders which were a fairly long list.

There were food supplies, diapers, disinfectants, antibiotics and other items for the baby, while the rest of the family required groceries, a bag of rice, FMCG products, cooking oil, a laptop for one of our kids, the medications recommended for us, as well as a new TV set to replace the damaged one and a UPS. She also took down our address and contact details.

Barely a few minutes afterwards, my husband’s phone rang again.

On the line was a young man who introduced himself as Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, co-CEO of Konga. He had proceeded to empathise with my husband over our condition and promised to personally deliver the items. We were dumbfounded! Even when we pressed to pay online due to the fear of being disappointed a second time, he assured us not to worry, adding that we can pay on delivery.

True to his words, Prince Ekeh called up my husband in the evening at about 6 pm, notifying him that he was at our Ajah residence. Could this be true? We almost fell over ourselves in the rush to get outside. Outside, we saw a young man, fully kitted in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), complete with goggles and gloves, with a Konga-branded vehicle parked on our front porch. We were over the moon with delirium.

While keeping the recommended distance, he proceeded to drop all of the ordered items and handed over a delivery note which we cross-checked. All of the items we ordered were intact and Konga even added a free bottle of hand sanitiser to the items.

Never in my wildest imagination did I expect such quick, thoughtful and professional service from an eCommerce company led by Nigerians. To cap it all, our needs were delivered by the CEO of the company! A lot of people are quick to write off Nigeria or Nigerians as a good-for-nothing, but I am inspired to share this experience as a way of boldly declaring that right here in this country, there are people and corporate organizations delivering great service.

Before we allowed him to leave, my husband, myself and the kids showered prayers on Prince Ekeh and Konga. It is hard for this business not to succeed as it is evident that Konga is blessed already.

Two weeks after that incident, my entire family started feeling better from the effects of the COVID-19. Two rounds of test afterwards, we were all certified negative and returned to our normal lives after welcoming back our two estranged kids.

I have followed the massive strides of Konga in the e-Commerce sector to date and I can see one of the best businesses to emerge out of Nigeria. Even with all that Konga is doing in the market today, I believe more is yet to come. Lest I forget, my entire family and I are loyal customers of Konga and I have also succeeded in converting most of my friends, colleagues and other relatives.

Without Konga, my family and I would have probably been victims of COVID-19. God will continue to lift this great company to bigger heights!

My very civilized man of God advised me to make this testimony public in appreciation of God’s favours and I am happy I have finally done this. I held back the family’s real name for privacy sake.

Mrs. X, a Chartered Accountant and mother of five, writes from Lagos

 

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Opinion

The Nigerian Telecom Sector Can Breathe Again

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Elvis Eromosele

By Elvis EROMOSELE

A week is a week. This is almost true in every part of the world regardless of the season. Every week is also unique. The activities, the happenings and the stories define each week.

This week has been epoch-making in every sense.

This week, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the death of George Floyd. The verdict was unanimous. He was caught on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over 9mins. George in pleading for his life kept saying “I can’t breathe.”

After the verdict, Philonise Floyd, George’s brother said that he’s “able to breathe again.”

The feeling of relief was widespread. It was a sigh of relief heard around the world. We can all breathe again.

In Nigeria, the government lifted the ban on sales of SIM cards. Officially, it meant that the telcos could resume sales of SIM cards after months of suspension. The sector and indeed Nigerian telecom services consumers were able to breathe again.

During the ban, countless people who had lost their phones or damaged their SIM cards couldn’t retrieve them. Visitors to the country couldn’t get SIMs and businesses that depended on SIM cards sales suffered. Millions were thrown out of jobs, sales outlets shut down and operators lost revenue. The last five months was a real chokehold on the telecommunications industry.

Conservatives reports indicate that the number of connected lines dropped by over 10 million lines. Think, loss in revenue to the telecom services providers and endless pain for the customers who couldn’t connect with family, friends or business. It was a chokehold.

No wonder, the sector couldn’t breathe. Little wonder the economy recorded a rise in the number of unemployed and more citizens dropped into the poverty zone. The country couldn’t breathe.

Since nature abhors a vacuum, it didn’t take long for illegal sales of pre-registered SIMs to gain ground. This is a story for another week.

The biggest loss was that the objective was lost to all but the initiators. It was a chokehold on the economy, Nigerians couldn’t breathe and nobody knew why.

First, a little context. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, had in December 2020 ordered the suspension of the sales and activation of new SIM cards across all phone networks in the country. Through the NCC, he directed Nigerians to ensure that their phone lines were connected to their National Identification Numbers (NIN) or risk losing the lines.

Now, the suspension was expected, at the time, to last till the completion of the NIN registration. The date fixed was early January.

Experts swore that it was an impossible mission. For in a decade, the NIMC registered less than 50 million people, how can the same organization be reasonably expected to sign on over 50 million people in under six weeks? The experts were right.

So, it was no surprise, therefore, that the deadlines had to be shifted repeatedly. The humongous crowd at the registration centres made Nigerians criticise the government for not making adequate provisions before the directive went into effect.

Banning SIM sales precipitated what appears to be several unintended consequences. The number of internet subscribers dropped, no doubt, limiting the chance of meeting the NCC-set broadband target.

In these days of reducing average revenue per user (ARPU), it is a case of declining revenue for the operators.

While telcos can’t be expected to complain openly, the impact was an open wound. It was visible for all to see.

The pain is equally real- job loss, revenue loss.

At a time, when the economy is witnessing diminishing revenues, these losses also mean a reduction in taxes payable to the government’s coffers.

It is difficult to reconcile the government’s actions with its regulations. The situation is typical. The telecommunications industry is making massive contributions to the GDP, yet it was placed in a chokehold and left struggling to breathe.

Thankfully, this week, the sector can breathe again. Yes, Nigerians can breathe again.

Darnella Frazier, the teenager whose viral video of George Floyd’s murder helped the case, has been praised for her bravery. It would also be proper to laud all the analysts and writers who pushed tirelessly for the resumption of SIM sales in Nigeria.

It has been a good week.

**Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos. 

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