Category Archives: nigeria

Nigeria’s Budgets, Transparency and Million-denominated ATMs

Like many concerned Nigerians, I have been looking through the 2016 Appropriation Bill as made available by the Budget Office of the Federation. My concern mainly stems from the fact that I do not want Nigeria to borrow money to stuff the bank accounts of people that deliver little or nothing to the public.

You will find that several items in the proposed budget reek of shoddy preparation and in some cases, outright dishonesty. While some line items can be easily identified as being ridiculously overpriced, other items prepared by more seasoned veterans in the dark art of Nigerian budget preparation have been described vaguely and as such cannot be compared with anything. Continue reading

What really is a billion naira?

It is normal for humans to relate sums of money with their present problems or desires. When the news headlines talk about billions of naira, it is hard for the common man to relate with the figures because he doesn’t have problems that require billions to solve.

A billion naira is simply a million naira in a thousand places. To help you visualize billions better, below are some of the things a billion naira can do. Continue reading

jabi park junction

Weird Abuja Traffic Lights and Police “trappers”

If you have driven in Abuja for more than a few years, you would be aware that there are several intersections where conflicting traffic lights or hand signals of traffic wardens could easily be misinterpreted by road users. Not far from these points, there would typically be two or more police officers crouched behind shrubs waiting to leap out at unsuspecting motorists. With the introduction of several strange traffic lights around the city, business has improved for the crouching cops.

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Nigerian Networks, Servers and Long Queues

Day after day, many Nigerians stand in line for hours at banks, airline ticketing offices, government service providers like Customs, Driver’s Licence Authority, Hospitals, etc. The usual culprit is that “the network is slow” or “the server is not going”. As a Network Engineer, I cringe each time I hear “the network” being blamed for portal design or capacity planning failure.

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Stopping daylight robbery by network operators

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** Update – The Consumer Protection Council indeed followed my complaint up with MTN. MTN has since refunded the airtime which they claim was deducted by the third party Value Added Service provider who subscribed me without my consent. MTN requested that anyone I know who has suffered something similar should contact them on 180. **

From time to time, I receive SMS notifications about some new service that I should subscribe to for X amount per day/week/month. Usually I just ignore them but recently I discovered that I have been automatically subscribed by the network operator (in this case MTN Nigeria) with a note that I can stop the deductions by texting a code to a particular number. Being a busy person, I did not take note of this until several deductions had been made,

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mikrotik server dns hijacked 20150624

Remote rogues spoiling your web experience?

To the terminally impatient who can not read long posts, scroll to the last paragraph.

In the quest for speedy web browsing and Internet bandwidth savings, many of us make use of servers/appliances that have HTTP and DNS caching functionality. Of course, the lazy (or accidental) administrator does the barest minimum to get the service working and moves on.

In the old days with lean VSAT bandwidth, many could (mis)configure their Web and DNS devices yet nothing bad would happen (mostly). Now that we have optic fibre internet connections however, it is a very different case. Continue reading

Just another day at the office (Little devices slaying giant networks)

The long email below is something I sent to a Consortium member that has been having challenges with browsing speed due to unseen forces guzzling their bandwidth.

I had to audit the network for several days using a Mikrotik router to be totally sure. Thought I’d share part of my report here with anyone having a similar experience. Hopefully, I make it a guide someday. Continue reading