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Friday, March 30, 2007

Where is Galaxy Backbone Plc?

Market Intelligence:

For over 10 months now, after the Federal Government incorporated Galaxy Backbone Plc, stakeholders are getting worried that nothing seem to be coming out from this company.

This worry is heightened by the recent reports of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly revolving around the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

According to the committee’s report, it described as illegal, the approval by President Olusegun Obasanjo for the incorporation of Galaxy Backbone Plc, purchase of computers for civil servants under the Computer for All Nigerian Initiative (CANi).

Industry observers held that this worry was the first thing that came to mind at the initial announcement that Galaxy Backbone was berthed in June last year.

Although the Government set up Galaxy Backbone as a company to integrate its existing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into a national backbone infrastructure, very little information currently exists as to what they are doing or has done so far.

Champion Infotel, recalls that Galaxy Backbone Plc integration is expected to further generate reliable data, voice and video transmission within the nation’s ICT sector, noteworthy is that the Minister of Science and Technology Minister, Prof. Turner Isoun noted that the company would also provide solutions that would be well adapted to the existing infrastructure, services and initiatives of stakeholder ministries, parastatals and participating private sector groups.

Even as PTDF was mandated to provide about N2 billion ($15 million) to finance the phase one of the company’s activities, with anticipation of another N25 million towards Galaxy Backbone’s incorporation advancement, revealing it’s a political tool to siphon public fund rather than developmental.

The proposed national backbone according to the initial briefing of the company include the harmonisation and aggregation of bandwidth purchase by the Government for effective planning, monitoring and cost control in line with the economic reforms; provision of the best value of ownership to the end users and intrinsically provide for full automatic and dynamic bandwidth on demand (BoD) capability, thus making available the required bandwidth where and when it is needed.

Other value proposition expected of Galaxy Backbone Plc are that it should form the first step in the right direction towards planning, and subsequent utilization of our communication satellite bandwidth, by boosting growth capacity, and having an open architecture based on Internet Protocol Technology and latest industry standard.

But 10 months on, not even the chairman of Galaxy and Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye has been able to keep stakeholders abreast of development on its mandate little then is expected from the Managing Director, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe.

This attitude, however, goes against every stakeholder’s expectation, hence there is need for a rethink and not waiting until things have completely gone wrong before involving stakeholders as it should.

The earlier Galaxy Backbone and its management realise this fact, the better for the nation.

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