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We’ve received several unverified reports that mobile communications were shut down in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city on May 29, following a directive by the Federal Government.

ITNewsAfrica reported that,

“Nigerian customers are angry over the recent mobile network shutdown in Abuja. Most mobile kiosks stopped operating on May 29. The mobile network disruption are part of the government’s continued apathy towards its citizens.”

It further said that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was unresponsive to questions as to why the networks were closed, saying that it was the Government’s decision.

“We cannot divulge complete information as to what the nature of the shutdown was for or why it happened, all we can say is that the networks are back up and running smoothly as of Monday,” said an unnamed source, according to ITNewsAfrica.

Visafone, one of the CDMA operators in Nigeria was reported to have informed its customers in a text message about the directive, saying: “Dear customer, as directed by the federal government, our service will be suspended from 6am-10pm on May 29 at Eagle Square, Abuja. Inconveniences regretted”, according to AllAfrica.com

While we’re not sure, the directive may be connected to efforts by the government to forestall possible attacks or disruptions of the inauguration ceremony at Eagle Square on Sunday May 29.

Already, two government websites (NDDC and NAPEP) were hacked last week in protest of the Federal Government’s decision to spend N1 billion (over $6 million) for President Jonathan’s inauguration on May 29.

There were also threats to cripple the telecommunication companies and mobile networks, if the Nigerian Government decides to go on with the N1b inauguration budget.

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2 Responses to NCC Shutdown Mobile Communications in Abuja

  1. spacelylinux says:

    It's true. Service was restored at about 10pm on the day. Several areas in Abuja were affected particularly a radius close to the Eagle Square. Data services and network were up in areas close to SunnyVille and Lokogoma for MTN but Airtel was entirely on shutdown.

  2. africoid says:

    A lot has been said about the new administration, good and bad. If this is a sign of things to come then one can rightly assume it is business as usual (50 years and counting).

    It is true that this place is indeed unique and the recent unexplained interruption to communications goes some way to typify that uniqueness. Admittedly, there are times when it becomes necessary to shutdown mobile networks but in a nation where non-mobile communication barely exists, it is nothing short of poor foresight.

    When there is a road traffic accident, it is norm for crowds to gather than for an emergency medical service vehicle to be called. So, what do we need mobile telecoms for? That could be the thought process of the advisers and the persons advised.

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