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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

There’s no fire incident in V.I. exchange – NITEL

MANAGEMENT of the national carrier, the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) Lagos zone, has denied some media reports that its Victoria Island exchange was gutted by fire.

The management team led by the Deputy General Manager (DGM) Operations, Mr. Akin Olufade and the Territorial Manager for Lagos Island Territory, Mr. Gbenga Odumosu, Wednesday, dispelled the stories in a chat with newsmen in Lagos.

“There was not even a spark at Victoria Island Exchange,” Mr. Olufade declared.

He explained that what happened was that the power supply to the exchange’s switching equipment was shut off, “because of the failure of the Rectifier Unit which, of course, regulates power supply to the exchange switch”.

Mr. Olufade also said that it was due to this failure that the exchange was shut down at about 2.30am Tuesday and by 3.15am on Wednesday, it was restored.

“We have been able to put the whole system back on line,” he asserted.

Explaining further, he said that NITEL Victoria Island Exchange has seven rectifiers units out of which five went off at the same time, therefore creating the bottleneck in the exchange transmission, which also affected all redundancy units, but “there was not even a single spark” at the exchange.

According to him, all efforts to tackle the problem by the limited corps of maintenance personnel on night duty proved unavailing and the team was enlarged later on Tuesday.

Pointing out that NITEL Lagos zone deployed the quickest possible means of informing the customers and the general public through radio announcements, where explanation was given about the fault, and efforts being made to repair it and the company’s regrets over the inconvenience the fault may have caused NITEL customers.

He stressed that the team worked through the day and night and was able to complete the repair and restore full service on the exchange in the early hours of Wednesday.

Mr. Olufade further explained that only the some Private Telecom Operators (PTOs) connected to the Victoria Island exchange were affected, others connected to Ikeja or Apapa were not affected either as NITEL subscriber, operator.

“If you are connected to V.I. you cannot make calls locally and internationally,” he said.

Emphasizing that the Rectifier units were Siemens GR 10 and 12, come with the line cards among other conductors.

While the step down occurred when they were on the public
electricity network, otherwise refer to as ‘NEPA’ in the local parlance.

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