How does your target resonate with the ubiquitous broadband infrastructure needs of the government and Nigerians in general?
Our major target is to see broadband penetration everywhere in Nigeria. If you have a value proposition that would make that possible latching on the infrastructure we have, we will take it. The private sector should look at the provision on ground and see how they can fit in. Then, we can have a discussion.
Our target is to ensure we don’t just provide digital services to only Nigeria but the whole of West Africa and then Africa. Nigeria is the biggest economy and largest population and the whole of Africa looks up to Nigeria. We want to provide digital services beyond Nigeria. Part of our plan for 2021 is to come up with a business model for the Galaxy Backbone for the next five years. This model has about six pillars.
One of it is the government policies. The second one is the cyber security. The third one is financial sustainability; we want this organization to be self-sufficient, to achieve operational excellence. We want to ensure that our services are very efficient and are improved upon. We have to improve capacity and capability, capacity in terms of infrastructure and improved capability which is the human resources will enable effective service delivery.
In terms of improved capacity, the government has approved the second phase of the NICTIB II (National ICT Infrastructure Backbone) project. This second phase will cover the remaining part of the country. A brand-new data centre is going to be built in Kano to serve as a fall-back facility to the data centre we have here. The project has started already, and will, hopefully, be completed by the first quarter of 2022. In terms of improvement in capability, you can have a chat with the staff of galaxy, they can speak for themselves.
How does the private sector benefits from your services?
We are consciously moving to work with the private sector. This is because we are positioned to become the leading enabler for digital inclusion in Nigeria. In extending our hands to the private sector, we are assuring them that we are not competitors with them, but we are trying to provide the enabling environment for them to thrive and for us to deliver on the broadband penetration plan for the country.
We have enormous infrastructure that can offer storage, colocation, backbone infrastructure passing through 13 states of the federation in the South West, South South and then North Central. All these infrastructures are available; so, the private sector does not need to invest in this. Just see how you can use it to provide services to your customers. These will save you costs and reduce your expenditures. On the other side, we also have some percentages of the revenue generated. We have reached out to such organizations as MainOne, Datasixth, Interra, Cisco, and Top Tech. All want to key into our scheme.
Just last month we launched what is called Storm in Enugu, which is meant to look into the provision of information and communications technology (ICT) services to the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government and small businesses within the South East and South South region of the country. This service which leverages our national fibre rollout is being delivered in collaboration with our partners, Interra Networks.
Tell us what you do to ensure security of government’s data?
About 60 per cent of the funds we have are actually channelled towards the protection of the government’s data. We ensure that all the infrastructure and facilities in place are provided with the security that is required to provide protection. This is the reason why government insists that all MDAs work with Galaxy Backbone. The international organizations and private companies only have interest to make money but in Galaxy, though we want to make revenue for the government, fundamentally, our social responsibility is to ensure that the government is protected. All our infrastructures are well protected to ensure security of data.