Galaxy Backbone: N35bn Needed for Effective Internet Services in MDAs

Mohammad Abubakar
Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar

Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone (GBB), Prof. Mohammad Abubakar, has revealed that N35 billion is needed to provide effective internet connectivity at two megabite per second (MPS) to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government.

He made the disclosure in Abuja, yesterday when members of the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on ICT and Cybersecurity visited the agency to carry out their oversight functions.

Abubakar said the help of the National Assembly is needed to enable the agency operate without bureaucracy, appealing to the parliamentarians to make laws that will enable the agency to 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 N35billion will be required, while more than N200billion 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 a 40 percent increase in Annual Service Contract, the provision fails to match 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.

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