- Galaxy Backbone, NigComSat Sign MoU on Internet Provision
Two companies owned by the Federal Government, Galaxy Backbone Limited and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of Internet service to government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
With the MoU, Galaxy Backbone, which has invested in metropolitan fibre infrastructure, is expected to serve the MDAs within the reach of the infrastructure, while the others will be served by NigComSat, which has a communications satellite in the orbit.
Under the MoU, the Galaxy Backbone is also expected to secure its satellite bandwidth requirements from NigComSat. It can obtain bandwidth from other satellite operators outside NigComSat for redundancy purposes only.
There have been accusations that the MDAs, including Galaxy Backbone, are bypassing NigComSat to buy satellite bandwidth from other operators outside the county. This practice has been blamed for significant capital flight from the country.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Galaxy Backbone, Yusuf Kazaure, explained that the partnership between the two companies was in keeping with the government’s commitment to leverage ICT for job creation, improved security, economic diversification and social inclusion.
He said the partnership would as well support the National e-Government master plan as a tool to improve governance and efficiency in the delivery of quality public services.
Kazaure said, “With the increasing impact of disruptive technologies, the provision of modern, efficient and adequate ICT infrastructure, facilities and services to public institutions in the country will accelerate the Ministry of Communications’ pole vaulting strategy of turning Nigeria into a 21st century economy and society.
“The transformative role of ICT for improved delivery of public services provides the basis for the continuing investments in infrastructural assets that Galaxy has been making over the years in order to empower the MDAs towards meeting their mandates and making life easier for the citizens whom they serve.”
He explained that under the terms of the partnership, Galaxy Backbone would be responsible for all terrestrial and last mile connectivity services to the MDAs.
Whilst still responsible for its hub operations, Galaxy would also purchase all its required satellite space segment bandwidth from NigComSat on agreed payment terms, he added.
The Managing Director, NigComSat, Abimbola Alale, said the company’s goal was to provide excellent and secure connectivity solutions to all its customers, while conserving capital flight and improving local content development in the ICT sector.
According to her, with its satellite, NigComSat-1R, the company provides a regional beam over the African continent with strong footprints
The MoU, which spans five years in the first instance, is a cost-cutting tool for the Federal Government.