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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Galaxy launches digital inclusion projects @ Anambra

Galaxy Backbone Plc has launched its digital inclusion project in Anambra State, as part of the firm’s strategy to accommodate the underserved communities and rural locations in Nigeria in the burgeoning Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Chief Education, States & Development department of Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, said these ICT projects were initiated as part of the company’s over-arching corporate objectives based on its mandate to create digital access for underserved communities and rural locations in Nigeria as a platform to leap-frog Nigeria into a 21st century knowledge society.

“Our focus on the bridging the digital divide is based on the realization that ICT is a modern tool for arresting the increasing poverty gap in an economy such as ours. As we commission the ICT centres in Anambra State this weekend, and the others across the country, it’s hoped that underserved communities and rural locations in Nigeria will in no distant time be positioned to compete in the knowledge economy through human capacity development and empowerment opportunities,” he said.

According to him, the three ICT centres commissioned last week in Anambra were in line with part of the activities for Galaxy Backbone ICT Road Show for South East zone.

He explained that they were located in Alor community, Girls Secondary School, Alor and the palace of Obi of Onitsha, all in Anambra State.

These centres, he said, were initiated as part of the National Information Communication and Education Programme (NICEP) network approved by the Federal Government in 2007 to provide accelerated connectivity for broadband internet, data, voice and video communications to rural and underserved communities including educational institutions in the country. The network could be leveraged to bring many sustainable developmental initiatives to Nigerians. Specifically, the network would assist government to facilitate the digital inclusion of underserved communities, assist in the area of human capacity development and deliver beneficial e-services to citizens.

In addition he said the services available at the centres include internet access, which is capable of supporting ICT based solutions targeted at universal access, health, education, poverty alleviation, wealth creation, as well as those focused on enhancing public sector efficiency.

“With so many public services going online such as JAMB, NECO registration and recruitment into some government agencies, the need to provide access to people in rural areas can never be overemphasized,” he said.

He urged State Governments and other developmental entities in the country to take advantage of the fact that the Federal Government had already funded the purchase of NICEP equipment while the States can reap the benefits and only incur recurrent bandwidth and support charges. “This proposition is superior to any other that will include hidden or visible equipment costs”.

The benefits of digital inclusion that can be leveraged through the NICEP infrastructure at the Federal, State and Local Government levels include providing digital access to citizens in rural locations; improve quality of education and healthcare; support growth of internally generated revenue; enhance government to citizen interaction; cost control and management as well as employment generation and poverty alleviation.

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