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Security issues threaten Nigeria’s tech progress

MTN Nigeria has become the first company to acknowledge a possible disruption to its services due to insecurity in the country.

The operator, which is the largest in the Nigerian market, reportedly messaged its over 82 million subscribers (as at last NCC figures) that service delivery to users may be impacted in the coming days.

A Reuters report quoted a statement from the company: “This means that in some cases, our technical support team may not be able to get to your site and achieve optimum turnaround time in fault management as quickly as possible."

Persistent reports of kidnapping, robbery, farmer-herders clashes and insurgency in parts of the country has exacerbated the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

According to the World Bank’s latest Nigeria Development Update report released on 15 June, the Nigerian economy shrank by 1.8% by 2020 due to the global pandemic to see its deepest decline since 1983.

Nigeria’s deepest recession has now been overcome and the economy is expected to grow by 1.8% in 2021, though highly uncertain as the recovery is to be driven by rise in oil exports and in domestic demand.

Yet, most major companies in the country have shown signs of weathering the storm until now.

Gbenga Odegbami, co-founder of Youverify, said his company has notified customers that SLA's in some parts of the country could not be guaranteed as a result of insecurity. 

“If the risk to people and goods are higher than the economic benefits, most organisations will re-evaluate the reason for providing the services or reduce the SLA of the service,” Odegbami said, decrying the severity of the insecurity issues around the country which he says have extended from the northeast to other parts.

“You need people and goods to ensure your infrastructure is running and ensure services and goods are delivered, i.e. data capture, logistics etc. No organisation wants their staff or representative kidnapped or killed in the line of duty."

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