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For some weeks now, the quality of GSM services on some networks has gone to the dogs. The situation has so moved from poor to bad, and on to abysmal, on some of the networks that making calls, and especially, sending text messages, have become a pain in the arse.
I am, unfortunately, one of those who have been so badly affected by the fluctuating GSM services as I use three lines from one of the networks most badly affected by the problem. With the generally poor quality of GSM in the country, my use of three line of the same network is, decidedly, not the best, and that is putting it mildly. It is, however, circumstantial.
I obtained my first line of this particular network several years ago in the heyday of the stock market boom and had submitted it to my banks, the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) and other sensitive places. My second line on the network is a Common User Group (CUG) line, through which I communicate with members of my family and close friends, at a cost of N1000 per month. The third line is, more or less, an official line.
Hence, whenever this particular network develops a technical headache, I come down with psychological typhoid, as I become incommunicado, helpless and frustrated. This was the situation in which I found myself almost throughout the month of May, as the Short Messaging Service (SMS) on the network virtually gave up, and making calls became a physical headache. It was not until I talked to a number of people with similar problems on the network, and even some other networks, and had actually gone to their network offices to complain to no avail, that I knew it was a general problem, and not one peculiar to my phone.
But, why must communication services be a headache in the country? Why is the quality of service so bad that it can hardly be relied on in emergency situations? Why must Nigerians go about with two, three phones before they can stay connected? These are the questions on my mind today.
Time, there was, when the quality of GSM services was a big issue and the communication regulatory authorities actively guarded the quality of GSM services by ensuring that the GSM service providers were on their toes. Then, there were various degrees of offences such as drop calls, for which the communications companies were fined and kept in check. It is not certain that this is still the case, and it is no wonder that telecommunication services are deteriorating.
Apart from whatever laxities may exist in regulation, it is obvious that many of the GSM networks have sold lines beyond their technical capacities. That is why their services have become unreliable and the problem of drop calls is increasing, while some lines actually dysfunctional even for three days at a stretch, sometimes.
It is not necessary to harp on the importance of reliable communication services to businesses and other family and social relationships. The service is critical even on security matters, as the ability of crime victims to make calls could mean the difference between life and death, sometimes. Let the communication companies and their regulatory agencies come alive again and give Nigerians the good services they desire. They should also stop the sale of pre-registered sim cards. It is surprising that in spite of the huge fines slammed on some network providers sometime ago, people still buy new sim cards only to find the names of other persons cropping up when their new numbers are used to call numbers that have truecaller. This should not be so, as it is bad for the country’s security system.
Nigerians desire and deserve better communication services. The communication regulatory authorities, especially the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), should do whatever is required to make this happen.
That was a nice one on Governor Ambode’s government’s performance thus far. Many people in Lagos have also attested to his success in infrastructural enhancements. If he had refused to call back PSP operators to bail out Visionscape from the heaps of garbage on many streets, the state would have been enmeshed in filth and stench that would have brought all kinds of diseases.
A listening governor would benefit from commentaries of media men of your ilk. So, let him remain so.
Reading through excepts of the lecture delivered by him at the University of Lagos convocation published in Sun newspaper of May 9, pg 45, shows his sound understanding of life and living, and his positive inklings in governance. With such a man on the saddle of governance, there is hope for good and progressive leadership.
May God make that happen during Akinwunmi’s term as Lagos State Governor.
Despite the challenges this government has faced since it took over, I believe it is not over until is over because there will be light at the end of the tunnel if our leaders put their house in order to deliver dividends of democracy in their four years in office. They should take the security situation seriously. Nigerians are concerned because the killings are becoming unbearable. Something has to be done now to stop the killings.
For this government to make it to a second term in 2019, it must deliver good governance in the shortest possible time to prove its critics wrong. Also, on your column of the previous week, when Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state won the election in 2015, many people did not believe he would perform well but he has proved his critics wrong by transforming Lagos in terms of infrastructural development all over the state in his first three years in office.
Dividends of democracy are making waves in Lagos. Other governors should emulate Ambode. I believe his second term is assured because he is doing a good job in Lagos. He merited all his awards.
I advise the opposition not to waste money challenging him in 2019 because he has intimidating achievements that will help him win again to complete the good works he started in 2015.
Gordon Chika Nnorom Umukabia 08062887535