Category Archives: nigeria

Four good things about yesterday’s elections:

1. Because there is now opposition in many locations unlike in previous years, ballot boxes could not have been stuffed in favour of whichever party was the local favorite. (Not everywhere of course)

2. INEC did well by having the ballot papers signed and stamped by the Presiding Officers at the venues. This did lead to increased delays but it would have made it a little more difficult to re-import any stolen ballot papers. Continue reading

Active Citizenship

I have decided to be an Active Citizen of Nigeria and to help the people around me become more active. I strongly believe that a democracy can only progress if the majority of the people play their part. This has the potential to take absolute power and impunity away from people who ordinarily should be public servants.

By being actively involved in the management of our country, we can

  1. Provide assistance to any sincere professionals in public service that have something to offer
  2. Deter sluggards in public service by publicizing the performance/impact (or lack thereof) of all sectors
  3. Help other citizens recognize that we can make an impact by providing input to public policy

Active Citizenship is a form of literacy (1) : coming to grips with what happens in public life, developing knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and independent judgement of local, national, European, global levels. It implies action and empowerment, i.e. acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes, being able and willing to use them, make decisions, take action individually and collectively.
We can identify some key characteristics of Active Citizenship: Continue reading

You just might be responsible for Nigeria’s systemic failure!

Starting in November 2014, I continually lamented the failure of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to provide power in the Estate where I reside. About 3 weeks into the power outage, we decided to give the gen a rest and moved to Jos for the holidays especially as the AEDC technicians had mentioned that if they could not repair the fault by December 23rd, the components for fixing will not arrive until January 2015.

Ten days into the power outage, I had written letters of complaint to the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). Continue reading

Today I learned what dirt can do to your network

A very dusty environment can cause dirt to build up in a Cisco router in turn causing a Serial Interface Card to malfunction and spew out more CRC errors than data which in turn causes very high round trip times and packet loss.

We only found this after several days of troubleshooting and fixing other problems at this C-band VSAT site. Problem solved by opening up router and using a vacuum cleaner. No engineering involved; just plain old cleaning. Of course this would not have been necessary in a clean environment.

Cisco router after years in the dust 2-DSC01280

Internet Access Options in Nigeria – Abuja April 2014

Someone asked me for information about available options for reliable corporate Internet in Abuja yesterday and after composing the email response with the analysis, I realized that over the years, I have somehow inadvertently become a walking encyclopedia of sorts for data network connectivity in Nigeria. This probably comes from consulting for multiple organizations including the network operators themselves. I’m posting this here with the hope that you find it useful. Continue reading