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Federal Government Pushes for International Law Review to Safeguard Undersea Cables

Illustration image of Minister Bosun Tijani (L) and some fibre cables

The Federal Government is seeking the review of international and regional laws to protect undersea cables. The Nigerian Government says it will engage countries like Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and others to to accelerate efforts in this direction.

Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, ‘Bosun Tijani, disclosed this in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday.

Since Thursday, telecommunications subscribers and bank users have been stranded as subsea cable cut in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Cote D’Ivoire, along the coast of West Africa paralysed digital transactions and internet communications. Mobile network operators like MTN and some banks have attributed the network outage on a subsea cable cut in the Atlantic Ocean.

Submarine cable company, MainOne, had said it might take up to two weeks to repair undersea cable cut which disrupted internet services in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, and other West African and East African countries in the last four days.

The company had attributed the cut to fishing activities and anchoring in shallow waters near shore, natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and then equipment failure.

“Our preliminary analysis would suggest some form of seismic activity on the seabed resulted in a break to the cable, but we will obtain more data when the cable is retrieved during the repair exercise,” MainOne had said.

The minister, in his post, said the unfortunate incident of the submarine cable cuts would help to build anti-fragility into Nigeria’s digital economy.

He commended the leadership of MainOne and telcos in their efforts to limit the impact of the cuts.

“This is also an opportunity for us to review international laws and collaborations to adequately protect undersea cables and I will be engaging regional and global bodies to accelerate efforts on this crucial agenda,” Tijani said.

He assured those experiencing disruption that the Nigerian Communication Commission is working with all key stakeholders to resolve the matter in the shortest possible time.

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