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GAME CHANGER FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Bashir Ibrahim Hassan writes that GBB’s Tier IV Datacentre will deepen digital services and improve efficiency and productivity
With the remarkable achievements recorded in the last two to three years in the drive towards Nigeria becoming a fully digitized economy, the news that Nigeria is set to launch a world class and tastefully built Tier IV Datacentre is a welcome development. Coming at a time when so much data is being generated across corporate organisations and industries at an alarming rate, Nigeria Galaxy Backbone is spot on in aligning with national aspiration to being an active player in global digitization.
And in all this, we are not just talking of data in its raw sense, but personal and corporate information of individuals, organisations and governments being daily created, that if not protected and documented properly, will be a recipe for disaster. We are talking of data with the potential to make or mar the development of any nation and the people within it.
Galaxy Backbone (GBB) is set to launch its Tier IV Datacentre into the public and private sector space of Nigeria. For an organization that was set up only in 2006 by the federal government as a Limited Liability Company for the benefit of Nigeria as a whole, it has in the last seven to eight years, successfully run the only Tier III Datacentre in the nation’s public sector space, a great feat indeed. It is now deploying state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and applying international best practices to backstop public sector organisations with sensitive data and a growing number of private sector organizations to provide services. The level of professionalism on offer has become a reference point for other organisations that are considering getting on the platform.
GBB’s Tier IV Datacentre is positioned to attract organisations looking at deepening their digital services at vastly reduced cost of technology infrastructure, improved efficiency and productivity. It has also enhanced business continuity through Cloud and Disaster Recovery services. The infrastructure has been specifically built to respond to the desire of its growing base of customers and stakeholders. GBB Tier IV Datacentre storage has capacity of about 2.2 petabytes. This translates to huge amounts of data that can be securely stored.
GBB’s responsibility to the agencies of the federal government of Nigeria consists of providing shared services from its ICT Infrastructure that will enhance and promote government’s digital services in a smart, secure and sustainable manner. The huge investments that have gone into this infrastructure are for the benefit of public and private establishments and the experience of GBB in building, deploying and providing infrastructure as a service, is a testimony to its ability to manage and continue in this line of business.
This Infrastructure, the first Tier IV Datacentre in the nation’s public sector and the only of its kind, built out of the nation’s commercial city, Lagos and situated in another commercial hub of the country, Kano, for disaster recovery, back-up and redundancy purposes will in no small measure enhance and deepen Nigeria’s Digital Economy drive towards becoming one of the most recognized digital economies of the world as envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari and institutionally led by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).
It is also worth recalling that, in 2020, the vision driven by the Honourable Minister to get Nigeria to become a fully digitalized economy by the year 2030 was put together in the document called the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030) and was launched by the President. In this document, eight pillars were identified as key instruments to help drive Nigeria towards digital transformation. One of the pillars is Solid Infrastructure. This TIER IV Datacentre feeds directly into the execution of that pillar from just being a policy to reality and further moves Nigeria greatly on its journey towards becoming a digitally transformed nation. It also forms a huge achievement for the Minister, the President and the nation at large being able to have such an expansive structure with the capacity and ability to store securely, huge amounts of data being generated by small businesses, government and other organisations across the country.
The role of the GBB is crucial to the development and enhancement of the standard of living of the people, when one thinks of how important data is today in the life of Professionals in Nigeria and across the globe. It has been widely reported that, worldwide, people generate, on a daily basis, over five quintillion bytes of data. Significantly, 51% of this will, by 2025 be stored in datacentres and 49% will be in the public cloud. However, according to the IDC, 46% of the world’s stored data will reside in public cloud environments.
What is interesting about these statistics is the reality that this data will be generated by individuals and organisations across sectors. That is why Professor Muhammad Bello Abubakar, GBB’s Chief Executive is very passionate about correcting the narrative that the organization is in competition with other private sector ICT companies. According to Abubakar, “Our goal is to collaborate with other private sector ICT companies to enhance digital transformation in Nigeria. So, I invite all of us, to leverage this Tier IV Datacentre for the collective benefit of our customers and stakeholders’.
It is important to realise that it is only through such initiatives and partnerships that the benefits of data sovereignty are attained. This is because at the heart of this, we all deserve to know where our data is stored, what it is being used for and how quickly we can access it.
One big lesson we ought to have learnt from the last pandemic and how it has transformed our lives even up till today is the power of data-driven by digital platforms that enabled people to connect with one another, build relationships, transact business and solve problems without any physical contact. The trust and confidence placed on GBB at that time, gave it the opportunity to play a formidable role which yielded great achievements and continues to propel it to raise the bar in its provision of digital services across the country.
Professor Abubakar’s leadership in Galaxy Backbone since he resumed in 2020 has led to a lot of progress and pivotal achievements. The organization is living its re-invigorated mission to provide state of the art digital infrastructure and services for a digital Nigeria. In doing this, it aligns with government priorities, underpinned by a commitment to data sovereignty. Security of government data is strengthened. He has determination and passion to ensure that Galaxy Backbone plays its role in the nation as the Digital Infrastructure platform of choice for the government and other businesses. Meanwhile, we have begun to see great results with this Tier IV Datacentre built in record time according to global standards of design and operation. It’s no surprise that Uptime Institute, which is the globally recognized institute for certifying data centres, has certified the Datacentre of Galaxy Backbone, having met all the criteria and guidelines for a TIER IV Datacentre.
The Tier IV Datacentre is a game changer for everyone across sectors of Nigeria, i.e. education, health, digital media, SMEs, government, financial services, etc. This is set to support and encourage consistency and sustainability in generation and protection of data that will aid in transforming lives, enhancing business opportunities and promoting economic prosperity.
Hassan writes from Abuja