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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

‘Yobe WiMAX project is licensed by NCC’

Yobe State governor, Senator Mamman Bello Ali, has said that the state-owned Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) project, commissioned at the weekend, was licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Champion Infotel recalled that the Yobe State WiMAX project known as Integrated Technology Wireless Internet, is powered by Zinox Technologies Limited and GAAT Investment Limited, at the estimated cost of N317 million.

The new wireless broadband with a range of up to 80 kilometres (km), and a bandwidth of up to 75 bits per second (bps), WiMAX is the inheritor to Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) which is a telecommunications technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access and based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.16 standard, which is also called WirelessMAN.

Senator Bello Ali made this clarification in a chat with newsmen after the launch by the Federal Ministry of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, at the government house in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State.

Although he did not disclose how much was paid for the license, Gov. Bello Ali noted, his administration would not be part of any illegality and the same applies to the Ministry of Information and Communications, hence the minister has the confidence to not only grace the occasion, but also accept to perform the commissioning physically.

He also said that the state has employed a Nigerian Information Technology (IT) professional with decades of experience to ensure that the project is managed as a private concern in order to be self sustained, but to a world-class standard.

As said by Gov. Bello Ali, who was accompanied at the occasion by his deputy, Alhaji Ibrahim Geidam and top functionaries of the state, sooner than later, he expected the managing entity of the WiMAX project to be self reliant and generate enough revenue to move it beyond sustaining of its operations and payment of staff salaries adequately.

He pointed out that apart from the initial 50-seater state of the art Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre with Zinox brand of Personal Computers (PCs), the government is planning another 200-seater to be used basically for training of all-comers on ICT in the state.

The era, he noted is over when indigenes of Yobe would go to other cities to get IT education in mushroom training centres, and tasked the managers to facilitate the standardization of tutorials and certificates.

This, he said, would afford beneficiaries on graduation to value the certificates, especially in using it to getting skill jobs.

Earlier, during the launch, Minister of state for Information and Communication, Alhaji Nakande, urged citizens of Yobe to make good use of the facilities now in place and better their lives, stressing that it does not belong to any single individual but the state in general.

Chairman Zinox, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh expressed confident that Yobe indigenes would enjoy the deployment of WiMAX in the state and assured of his office determination to assist the state to develop its human capacity to knowledge capacity.

Zinox, he said, has finalised plans to open an office in Damaturu in order to draw its services nearer to the populace, mostly in the state, adding that it would open up employment opportunities for the indigenes.

Champion Infotel recalls that Yobe State was created on August 27, 1991 by the then President Ibrahim Babangida’s administration from the former Borno State, and is touted as one of the largest states in terms of land area.

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