Mobile Network Providers React, As BIVAS Failure Is Blamed On Bad Service

Mobile Network Providers React, As BIVAS Failure Is Blamed On Bad Service

Netwoek Providers say service was 'optimal' during Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday

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The Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria said the service didn’t affect the presidential election held over the weekend, after failure to upload poll results on INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) and Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS).

Prime Business Africa had reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been criticised for its handling of the IReV and BIVAS meant to ease the transmission of results and prevent rigging during the presidential and other elections.

Contrary to Electoral Act 2022 and INEC’s own promise, the Commission has been depending on paper results instead of digital results expected to be uploaded immediately after voting, as far less than the actual votes cast have been uploaded. 

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There have been claims that bad network service caused the inability of INEC to upload the results, however, the internet providers have now denied service disruption caused the failure. 

According to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Garba Dambatta, INEC didn’t report service disruption during the presidential and lawmakers’ elections over the weekend. 

Dambatta told the Nation Newspaper in a report on Tuesday, 28 February 2023: “The issue was not reported to the NCC by INEC. We are committed to the provision of reliable telecoms services always.” 

Defending the mobile network providers, the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, disclosed on Monday that their network performance reports over the weekend showed service was optimal. 

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“There is no such thing. Networks were optimal and no such action took place. We have network performance reports over the said period and things were at optimal best. 

“The industry provided the necessary support for the entire process and we commit to supporting all stakeholders at this critical period as always,” Adebayo said in defence of the internet service providers. 

Prior to the election, reports had circulated that the network providers plan to shut down during the election, but the NCC denied it, stating the reports are “fraudulent and misleading.”

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