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Galaxy Backbone Provides Infrastructure to Implement E-government Master Plan

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The E-government master plan initially approved by the previous Federal Executive Council was launched and published for the consumption of the entire nation.

The official launch was carried out by the Secretary to the government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Head of Service, with the former Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, Permanent Secretaries of several Ministries as well as the Heads and representatives of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies in attendance.

The launch of the E-government master plan remains one of the greatest achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) led government. Following, the launch, government will begin the full implementation of the E-government master plan, which is meant to set Nigeria apart in the league of nations effectively delivering government services using digital technologies and Infrastructure, in earnest.

According to the Director E-government within the Ministry of Communications, Mr. Tope Fashedemi, ‘Galaxy Backbone provides the Infrastructure that will enable the full implementation of the e-government master plan’.

Galaxy Backbone (GBB) is the digital infrastructure and shared services provider to government and all its agencies. GBB is saddled with the responsibility to provide the technology platform through which the e-government master plan will be implemented for the nation.

Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, Managing Director/CEO, explains further that ‘The e-government master plan heralds the platform that will help ministries and agencies perform better and become more effective in providing services to other government institutions, businesses and the citizenry in a fast, reliable and efficient manner. This will be achieved through a shared platform’.

The goal of the e-government plan is to provide a transparent, competent, service oriented digital base, and an information sharing hub.

The vision of the plan is to achieve a means to access government services online with ease and that’s where Galaxy Backbone plays a huge role in actualizing this. Mr. Kazaure has assured all that Galaxy Backbone will perform its responsibilities to ensure the full implementation of the plan.

In emphasizing GBB’s role in implementing the E-government master plan, Mr. Frank Ugbodaga, Group Head Customer Operations and Services explained that government has invested in A state of the art Infrastructure, which includes a world class Tier III Integrated National Datacentre to ensure that the full weight of this plan is actualized.

According to Mr. Ugbodaga, “Galaxy Backbone has an active state of the art Tier III Datacentre with the latest infrastructure, computers, storage and the largest dedicated tech structure and network suitable for public and private consumption in Nigeria”.

In ensuring that the E-government master plan is fully functional across the country and that the entire nation is fully digitized for effective interactions between government agencies across the country, between government and citizen and between government and businesses, Galaxy Backbone has invested in laying fibre optics infrastructure across the country.

Mr Ugbodaga further stressed this National Information, Communications & Technology Infrastructure Backbone project meant for the benefit of the entire nation. “We have succeeded in installing fibre cables in 13 states of the federation under the first phase of this project. The second phase which has commenced, will see Galaxy Backbone cover virtually all states within the country interlinking government MDAs with a dedicated network. This vast network is open to be leased for both public and private sector companies”.

Galaxy Backbone (GBB) is poised to create a digital nation and this e-government master plan is an integral part of ensuring that this is achieved for the entire country.  The organisation is looking to collaborate with ICT companies across the country to leverage on the huge infractructure it has. In addition to the Tier III Datacentre located in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Galaxy Backbone also has the only in country Disaster Recovery Centre located in Enugu.

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E-Business

NITDA Identifies Stiff Competition with Foreign Software as Bane of Indigenous Software

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has identified stiff competition from foreign developers as the bane of software development in Nigeria.

The agency, which is responsible for the regulation and development of the information technology in Nigeria, said “off-the-shelf software” from foreign developers deny local producers the opportunity to grow.

NITDA’s director general, Isa Ibrahim, who stated this in Abuja on Tuesday said his agency is working to change the situation by evolving software testing and information system security best practices.

Speaking while opening a stakeholders’ engagement for the review of the Guidelines for Information Systems Audit and Nigeria Software Testing Guidelines, he said the local industry is not reaping the growth in IT investment.

The director general was represented at the event by Vincent Olatunji, NITDA’s director of e-Governance and Regulatory.

“The acquisition of technology-driven solutions to drive growth in the public and private sectors has continued to increase in Nigeria.

“The indigenous software market has not been left out of this growth trend, but continues to suffer stiff competition from foreign off-the-shelf software used to meet local needs, where indigenous software could have provided the appropriate solutions,” he said.

Quoting unnamed industry analysts, the NITDA DG said the trend has affected the growth of the local software sector, “which by now should be in excess of probably $10 billion annually if well harnessed”.

He attributed the low patronage of local developers to quality assurance challenges.

Mr Ibrahim said the two new regulatory documents will help in addressing some of the challenges.

“The Nigerian Software Testing Guidelines (NSTG) is developed on the premise that mitigating software vulnerability risks through the promotion of structured software testing practice for safety and quality of software development will create the enabling environment for growth of the indigenous testing sector in Nigeria,” he said.

“The Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), has estimated that Nigeria loses about N127 billion to cybercrimes yearly. This is caused in part by our inability to adequately secure our Information Systems. Therefore, securing our information systems is a must if we want to guarantee the safe delivery of our services.

The proposed Guidelines for Information Systems Audit by the Agency is one of the tools to guarantee this safety.”

He said since coming to office, NITDA, under his leadership, has come up with a number of subsidiary legislations and regulations to enhance the productivity of the industry.

“For instance, in 2019 alone, I had launched and signed off five regulatory instruments and we have presented five additional documents to stakeholders for inputs and contributions.

“All these instruments were issued to address various challenges facing us as a nation,” he said.

In his review of the guidelines, Churchill Aribodor, an IT consultant, said the regulations developed by the agency are needed to tackle “the dark side of ICT”.

He said the new regulations will ensure tightened security, provide confidentiality and protect data systems from havoc.

Mr Aribodor said the news internet security guidelines will provide an improvement on the level of information security, avoidance of improper information security, ensure effective of control and safeguard access, and maintain key data and system attributes.

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Emerging Markets are Money Savvy and Ready for Change – Says Luno

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The adoption of cryptocurrencies in developing countries has been well documented and the anomaly is often flagged that people who have less appear to take greater financial risks.

Initial findings from the Luno ‘Future of Money’ survey, which took the views of more than 7000 respondents across Europe, Africa and South-East Asia helps explain this phenomenon. As large global tech firms start to move into blockchain and altcoins, the research shows why early adopters, the most important audience for these firms, will probably come from emerging markets.

Marcus Swanepoel, Luno CEO said: “As some of the world’s largest tech giants announce they are launching cryptocurrency coins we believe developing markets will be the lead adopters. Our research shows that in these markets people are more financially savvy because they have to be, which means that they need and understand the benefits the new coins can offer.”

When asked the question “Do you think a single global currency would make the current financial system better or worse?” almost three times as many respondents from Nigeria and South Africa said it would make it better, compared to the UK.

“The data also identified why money is such a focus in emerging markets. When asked why money is important to them, the respondents said that it was ’to secure my family’s well-being (60%) or to ‘pay for my education’ Nigeria 25%, compared to 8% in the UK.

A further question regarding the setting of a monthly expenditure budget found that 80% of people in Malaysia; 65% in Nigeria; 73% in South Africa and 74% in Indonesia, do, compared to 54% in the UK. And, 33% in Indonesia compared to 0% in the UK, are more likely to stay within the budget they set.”

“It is very clear that if money is not simply a ‘nice to have’ and is vital for your future, then you spend more time understanding it, managing it, preserving it and to an extent being creative with how you maximise the use of it. Therefore if a cryptocurrency can provide a secure and cheaper means of exchanging value, better than the existing system, it will be used.

This is why we believe that as new cryptocurrencies, linked to global brands are introduced they will find an important audience in emerging markets.”

“These markets are also more likely to exhibit grassroots level adoption (vs institutional)” said Swanepoel.

“In almost every emerging market country surveyed, over half of the people said they would turn to family, friends or colleagues for financial advice over government organisations which shows that people in these markets rely on information from those closest to them”

This survey presents an overview of a study conducted by Dalia Research for Luno between 17/05/2019 and 07/06/2019 about the future of money. The sample of over 7,000 individuals with internet access was drawn in France, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Calculated for a sample of this size and considering the design-effect, the average margin of error would be +/-3.1% at a confidence level of 95%.

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Galaxy Backbone Continues To Partner Locally For Space Segment & Satellite Services

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Galaxy Backbone has continued to provide connectivity services to Government MDAs across the length and breadth of Nigeria on its 1GOV.ng platform. The preferred mode of connection is fibre. However, in locations where there are no fibre or terrestrial networks, satellite capacity is used.

Galaxy has been and continues to obtain the satellite capacity required  from its sister agency, NIGCOMSAT. This has given federal government the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of economies of scale and encourage local partnerships.

Galaxy Backbone (GBB) is the Digital and Shared services Infrastructure provider of the federal government. For over 12 years, this organisation of government has continued to strive towards living its mission being, to drive national development through the provision of pervasive ICT Infrastructure and services to public institutions, underserved communities and other stakeholders. This mission propels the day to day running of the organisation and how it interacts with institutions, local communities and other stakeholders.

Prior to the existence of Galaxy Backbone (GBB), the provision of technology infrastructure services within public institutions existed in silos and created a lot of duplicity of government services and greatly increased government expense on ICT services.

That experience is history now as over 95% of these government establishments now operate under the Galaxy Backbone shared services platform which is secure, less capital intensive and provides a world class service experience to the federal government institutions on its platform.

Now, as technology has grown globally and locally in the last ten years, government continues to invest in ensuring that the required infrastructure needed to ensure that the network and communications amongst government agencies and between government and its citizens is enhanced.

As Galaxy Backbone continues to lay fibre optics across the nation, leveraging on the government’s investment in the National ICT Technology Infrastructure Backbone project, connectivity and broadband services will continue to expand for the consumption of the citizens. The vision to ensure that local and underserved communities are catered for in areas where fiber cannot reach, will be taken care of via Satellite services.

So, in 2015, GBB, seeing the growth, development and government’s investment in Satellite services to address these communities through the Nigerian Communications Satellite limited (NIGCOMSAT), severed its relationship with previous foreign partners, to focus completely in leveraging NIGCOMSAT services to serve these class of customers. This has made Galaxy Backbone one of the largest consumers of Nigcomsat satellite capacity.

Also, in promoting government’s vision around Data sovereignty and ensuring that data generated within the country, stays within the nation, Galaxy Backbone (GBB) provides secure hosting services through its state of the Tier III Datacentre located at the federal Capital Territory. Through this infrastructure, the nation’s sensitive data is kept secure.

GBB is also the only hosting company with an in-country Data Recovery Centre situated in Enugu.  The company will continue to improve its services, champion government’s efforts at improving digital services and data protection across the nation by collaborating and working closely with public and private institutions.

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