" ITREALMS: Nigeria needs data, telecom network policies – Odinma

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Nigeria needs data, telecom network policies – Odinma

LEADING Nigerian telecommunications expert, Prof. Augustine Odinma has said the nation needs data and fail-over telecom network policies that must be all-inclusive.

Prof. Odinma, stated this in an address to this year’s International Conference and Exhibition on Power and Telecommunications (ICEPT 2005), organized by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE’s) Electrical Division, as a special guest of honour in Ikeja-Lagos.

The three-day conference coincided with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Electrical Division, has the theme: “Building Sustainable Capacities, Standards and Regulations in Power and Telecommunications Industries”.

He said that the data link policy should link all the ministries, parastatals and agencies in the first phase.

On the second phase, Prof. Odinma who is based in the United Kingdom (UK), said it would include the state governments.

This, he said, would become an avenue for revenue for the federal government, as the states would be expected to pay some royalties on a yearly bases for the maintenance of the networks.

“Most of the networks’ various arm of the government is constructing must of necessity be hosted by the federal government’s networks,” he said.

He condemned the policy of each ministry having its own networks segments that are not interconnected, saying it is not adequate.

Other initiatives such as e-government, tourism sites, he said, must be hosted on the Federal Government networks, stressing that all-inclusive network cannot be avoided, but a task that must be accomplished.

He also said that the government should commence plan towards the deployment of the network in a phased approach.

Prof. Odinma recommended that Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) or Ministry of Communications (MOC) should own the Government Data Intranet networks.

On the other hand, government, he said, should start to plan for a fail-over telecom network policy, which he explained should not wait until there is a major disaster in the telecom industry.

He further bemoaned the attitude that anybody could design a telecom network in the country. Pointing out that has been the reason some GSM networks have cross-talks most of the times.

“It is for this reason that you find GSM networks having cross-talks in most major cities. You can only expect substandard networks or network performance if you use non-telecom expert engineers to plan networks,” he asserted.

Warning that state cannot be entirely dependent on the private network operators for all its communication needs, thus it is risky, dangerous and disastrous.

“For the government not to have some form of Fail-Over Telecom Network,” he expert said.

The network, according to him, would be a secret network and owned by the States Security ‘Secret’ Service (SSS) and must be designed by indigenous telecom network experts.

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