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Galaxy Backbone Boss Says N35Bn Needed for Internet Services in MDAs

Prof. Mohammad Abubakar, managing director of Galaxy Backbone (GBB), has said that some N35 billion is needed to provide effective Internet connectivity at two megabyte per second (MPS) to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government.

Abubakar who made the disclosure in Abuja, Thursday when members of the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on ICT and Cyber security visited the agency to carry out their oversight functions, said that the help of the National Assembly is needed to enable the agency operate without bureaucracy and appealed to the parliamentarians to make laws that will enable the agency compete with other business outfits that provide the same services.

He said: “To provide connectivity services at a minimum broadband speed of 2Mbps to all MDAs nationwide as mandated, funding in excess of N35 billion will be required, while more than N200 bllion will be required for broadband connectivity at National Broadband Plan (NBP) recommended.

“Despite the state of infrastructure, Galaxy is finding it increasingly difficult to compete with private sector companies because of bureaucracy that are peculiar to public sector institutions.

“Despite 40 per cent increase in Annual Service Contract, the provision fails to match the steep rise in demand for Galaxy’s services. Additional increase will be required to keep up with MDAs’ demands and needs.”

He added that internal infrastructure readiness issues within some MDAs continue to affect the quality of services enjoyed by the MDAs, stressing that internal IT capacity issues within several MDAs affect uptake and utilisation of Galaxy Services.

According to him, GBB continues to mitigate this challenge through training of Galaxy Backbone Limited.

He appealed to the National Assembly members to assist in making the agency more viable, while soliciting “support from the National Assembly for an act to define and affirm GBB corporate structure and orientation in its relationship with FGN and MDAs”.

Abubakar noted that Galaxy should be relieved of all encumbrances of government bureaucracy, such that it will operate solely within the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) framework.

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