Investigating the Impact of the Recent Undersea Submarine Fiber Cable Outage 

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June 24, 2024

The first challenge revealed by recent issues is the “inefficient technology solution.” This inefficiency became clear when customers of Nigerian banks couldn’t complete transactions with businesses in Nigeria during a fiber cut. For example, a GTB account holder was unable to make a TSA payment. The problem arises because many customers use Visa or Mastercard, which involves multiple international connections. When a transaction is initiated, the system connects first to the card issuer’s database outside Nigeria, then back to the customer’s Nigerian bank to verify the balance, and finally returns to the card issuer for approval. This round-trip process exacerbates connectivity issues, especially during disruptions

Currently, payment apps and web payment systems are hosted on clouds and data centers outside Nigeria. This means that every transaction must first communicate with the host, requiring data to pass through submarine cables, which can cause delays and vulnerabilities.

Solution: The government should create an enabling environment that incentivizes cloud and data center companies to establish more infrastructure within Nigeria. Additionally, financial institutions, businesses, and organizations should prioritize using local web hosting and cloud services companies for hosting their web services and payment apps.

These solutions aim to improve local transaction processing, strengthen technical design and implementation, enhance redundancy and resilience of infrastructure, and ensure robust business continuity measures.

Via The Nation