Nigeria Faces Over $593.6 Million in Losses Due to Underwater Cable Damage


NetBlocks, through its Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST), has disclosed that Nigeria incurred a loss of ₦273 billion ($593.6 million) over a span of four days.

Top10VPN has estimated that the internet outages in West and Central Africa have incurred a cost of $112.5 million (USD) up to midday on Friday. This is a result of the recent undersea cable damage, which caused users to be left stranded on Thursday. The estimation is based on an average loss of internet connectivity for thirty-one hours.

During the period of Thursday, March 14, to Sunday, March 17, 2024, the country incurred a loss exceeding ₦273.98 billion ($593.6 million) based on the exchange rate as of May 2023, as indicated by the cost indicator.

NetBlocks, a leading cybersecurity and Internet governance organization, utilizes the Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST) to gauge the financial repercussions of an Internet outage, mobile data disruption, or app constraints. This tool draws on data from reputable sources such as the World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to provide accurate estimations.

Last Thursday, Techpoint Africa highlighted the widespread Internet disruptions experienced by several African countries following damage to undersea cables. The report detailed the varying impacts on mobile network operators and Internet service providers, ultimately leading to subpar connection quality for subscribers.

In Nigeria, the disruptions also impacted several banks, leading to customer inability to conduct transactions through bank apps and USSD services.

Following recent developments, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has officially confirmed the initiation of repair operations on significant undersea cables along the West African Coast starting from March 16, 2024.

Amidst this situation, telecommunication companies, banks, and other financial institutions have shifted their traffic to alternative service providers. Although some providers have confirmed that the service has been restored, others are still in the process of migration, leading to delays and congestion.

Ghana has announced that the repair of subsea cables may require up to five weeks. This decision comes after a meeting with the four subsea cable landing service providers—Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), MainOne, South Atlantic 3 (SAT-3), and the West Africa Cable System (WACS)—as well as mobile network operators.

In January 2024, Top10vpn, an international VPN review website, reported that Internet shutdowns resulted in a staggering $9 billion loss for the global economy in 2023, impacting a massive 747 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa ranked second to Europe, with losses totaling $1.74 billion over 30,785 hours, affecting 84.8 million Internet users.




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