Undersea cable damage disrupts internet services in Nigeria, impacting telcos, banks | #NwokeukwuMascot

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Telecommunications companies and banks in Nigeria are facing a major disruption in their internet services due to damage to international undersea cables that provide connectivity.

The damage occurred near Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, affecting several major undersea cables including the West Africa Cable System (WACS), the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), MainOne, and SAT3.

As a result, some banks in Nigeria are unable to process transactions, causing inconvenience to customers. Telecom subscribers, particularly those using MTN, have also reported poor data experience since Thursday morning.

In response to customer complaints about the slow internet connectivity, MTN has issued a statement explaining the cause of the disruption. The company apologizes for the inconvenience and assures customers that repair work is underway to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

MTN’s statement in full; “We apologize for the challenges you may be experiencing with internet speed and accessing data services at the moment.

“This is a result of damage to international undersea cables across East & West Africa. The repair process is ongoing to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Please look out for further updates.” 

Sterling Bank is one of the affected banks, with its network shut down and unable to process any transactions. Customers attempting to visit the bank's branches are being turned away due to the network outage. The bank's app is also currently unavailable for transactions.

A visit to one of the bank’s branches in the Ogba area of Lagos State confirmed this as all customers attempting to enter the bank’s hall were being turned back. When asked the reason, one of the staff of the bank said:

  • “Our network is down and it is bank-wide, you don’t need to go to another branch. Our app is also down for now, please try it again later in the day for your transaction.” 

The impact of the undersea cable damage extends beyond Nigeria, affecting networks in South Africa as well. The WIOCC group has confirmed that multiple undersea cables along Africa’s West coast are experiencing outages, causing a significant internet problem in South Africa.

Vodacom, one of South Africa's telecom operators, has also acknowledged the undersea cable outages, leading to intermittent connectivity issues for some customers. The company apologizes for any inconvenience caused and assures customers that the issue is being addressed.

Efforts are underway to repair the damaged cables and restore normal internet services in both Nigeria and South Africa. Further updates will be provided as the situation progresses.

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