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Nigerian govt. kills Millennium bug

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The Nigerian government on Wednesday authorised its state-run telephone company to disconnect private carriers which it deemed ill prepared to face the Y2K rollover. The company, Nitel, promptly responded by cutting off something like 20,000 private lines. "This is necessary in order to protect the integrity of the national network and avoid disruption of services," Nitel explained in a prepared statement. One private company representative called the statement "nonsense". "All Nitel's facilities nation-wide are Y2K compliant and will not experience any disruption to telecommunications services during the transition from this to the next Millennium," Nitel claimed. The government strategy may prove be a double-edged sword. Nitel will have no scapegoat if things should go awry on 1 January. A bit risky, but we admire the confidence with which the company has isolated itself as the only possible cause of any telephone stuff-ups that might occur. We hope it all works out; though if it doesn't, perhaps one benefit will be an acceleration of Nitel's long-promised privatisation. ®

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