Tips on Surviving Potential Telecoms Shutdown in Some Northern States
By: Dr Nasir Daniya
There is possibility that in the coming days or weeks Sokoto State and surrounding states will see extension on Zamfara ‘Telecoms Shutdown’.
This is not a panic or alarm post, rather, a ‘keep-guard’ call to all of us, ‘ordinary’ citizens, in order to prepare in advance, because recent actions taken by the Federal Government shows that there are high hopes that bandits and other criminal elements will be hearing ‘the language they understand’ sooner than later.
As such, I hereby offer some common tips that could guide all of us in the event of prolonged or extended shutdown across our respective states.
1. If you’re a frequent user of mobile banking or cashless transactions, make sure you equally have cash. Many petty traders don’t have the machisms and facilities to take/accept electronic transactions/transfers. Above all, you need internet services to do that, it would not be available due to ‘shut down’
2. If you have money in the bank, withdraw larger part of it. If you have digital currency, convert it into a hard currency and keep at home or in your digital wallet in case there’s an extenuating circumstance that gives access to internet so that your can ‘fast trade’ forex.
3. Develop the habit of writing your programs and putting all contingencies on ground before you leave home, because when there is emergency, nobody has means of communication to reach out to your mobile.
4. Remember, when there is telecoms shutdown (like what is currently in Zamfara State), it is like turning the society to ‘stone age’ Communication-wise. Trade and commerce would be tougher, communications would be harder and transportation would be longer etc. This is where the biggest test, equally a massive opportunity for Nigerian entrepreneurs to come up with forseable and practical alternatives and innovations to address societal problems during ‘shut down’.
5. The kids are going back to school, tertiary institutions are resuming, there is need for Governments at all levels to put contingency measures to avoid chaos, pandemonium and emergence of fresh crisis while trying to avert other forms of challenges.
6. Buy a lot of food stuff (if the economy allows you), and keep at home, also share with your family, neighbours and friends. Government and wealthy individuals should start buying trucks of food stuff and keep for distribution to the society. What is coming ahead is far more life threatening than the COVID-19 lockdown.
7. Minimise your expenses and expenditure. Avoid unnecessary purchases and extravagant lifestyle. Buy ONLY what you need not what you want.
8. Keep water, save water and maximise use of water. God fobid, should there be water shortage, no one would even talk about food, let alone communication. Water is life, get fresh tanks, jerry cans gallons for safe keeping.
9. It is high time we all move back to farms, gardens and orchards. Let us use this opportunity and intensify production of organic milk, dairy products and cash crops, in the rainy days, ‘those with food are always with goods’.
10. Be consistent with prayers and play your own part in the security of your immediate family and Community.