Connect with us

Opinion

Towards Fully Digitalised Economy

Published

on

With the remarkable achievements recorded in the last two to three years in the drive towards Nigeria becoming a fully digititalised economy, the news that Nigeria is set to launch a world class and tastefully built Tier IV Data centre is a welcome development, especially when it is coming at a time when a lot of data is being generated across corporate organisations and industries at an alarming rate,  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. This is why it is timely that the Galaxy Backbone (GBB) is set to launch its Tier IV Data centre into the public and private sector space of Nigeria. For an organisation 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 Data centre 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 organisations 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 Data centre 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. Its 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 recognised digital economies of the world as envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari and institution led by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. 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 digitalised 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 5 quintillion bytes of data.
Significantly, 51 per cent of this will, by 2025   be stored in datacentres and 49 per cent 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 GBB’s Chief Executive Prof. Muhammad Bello Abubakar, is very passionate about correcting the narrative that the organisation 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.
Prof. Abubakar’s leadership in Galaxy Backbone since he resumed in 2020 has led to a lot of progress and pivotal achievements. The organisation 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 is no surprise that Uptime Institute, which is the globally recognised 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, a writer on emerging technologies, sent this piece from Abuja.

By: Bashir Ibrahim Hassan

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Opinion

  Buhari’s Vault Face

Published

on

Since the end of the ruling party’s presidential primaries, and the selection of a Muslim running mate by the party’s standard bearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the voice of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has been the loudest and the most critical, even though he is a member of the ruling party. He has posited that fielding a Muslim – Muslim ticket is an anathema in a multi-religious country like ours and a marked departure from nation-building. The former speaker is fully aware of the delicate balancing of geopolitical, tribal, and religious interests for the purpose of national cohesion and unity.

Dogara’s position is right on point, and he continues to espouse it boldly, even to the vitiation of his political capital. Unfortunately, Tinubu’s decision to choose a fellow Muslim was nothing new, rather it was a reenactment of what President Buhari started in 2015.
Since May 29, 2015, Nigeria as a country stopped making any significant effort toward nation-building. He might have exuded a frail visage, but his appointments were bold and telling. From the outset, his policies clearly signalled a Northern agenda. In hindsight, it is clear that President Buhari was lying in his inauguration speech, when he said, “I belong to no one, I belong to everyone”.

We know better today.  At no time in our history has this country been so close to the precipice. Armed men with more sophisticated weapons than the Nigerian Army have flooded our country, ravaging lives, destroying farmlands, raping our women, kidnapping for ransom, and impoverishing our people. As if that was not enough, we were recently ranked as the second most terrorised country in the world. Buhari’s government has repeatedly told Nigerians that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. They have been lying all along, and they know it. They also know that we know that they are lying. Sadly, that is the ministry of Lai Muhammed. Even the Nigerian economy is on the brink of collapse, and the exchange rate of $1 for N1000 is at hand.

Nigerians already know that we are operating phony federalism system. They are aware that our oneness as a nation has a certain uniqueness to it. For instance, the penal code is the judicial system in the North, while the South operates the criminal code. It is so seamless that most Nigerians are unaware of it. Is it bad? No. In fact, it makes for inclusivity, and it accommodates our diversity. However, the issue of insecurity, terrorism, and banditry is an entirely different kettle of fish. Since 2015, the clamour for state police has increased tremendously, sadly, the North heavy (borrowing the words of Governor Wike) National Assembly had hindered the debate from gaining traction. Even President Buhari’s comments and body language on the issue have not helped matters. Fortunately, on January 9, 2020, the governors of the South West forced the issue by setting up a regional security outfit tagged the Amotekun Corps to develop indigenous solutions to local security challenges. However, Amotekun Corps was denied the licence to carry arms.

Interestingly, the viral training video of a similar outfit set up by the home state of the president is about to change all that. In the video, Kastina State Vigilante recruits were seen parading the same AK-47 rifles that the federal government has refused Amotekun, even though the North West and the South West are facing the same existential threats. In his response to the viral video, Governor Rotimi Akeredulo of Ondo State accused Buhari’s administration of running one country with two systems. According to him “the video making the rounds showing the equivalence of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina obtaining Federal Government approval to bear arms is fraught with great dangers,” “Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism, which we have been clamouring for. That Katsina was able to arm its state security force with the display of an AK-47 means we are pursuing a one-country, two-system solution to the national question.

In his effort to extricate the police from any connections with the State Vigilante outfit, Isah unwittingly confirmed the obvious, because he said the vigilante in the state was not licensed to carry AK-47s, but they were only trained to use them. The follow-up question should have been, trained by who? Who has been licensed by the federal government to train people in the use of such sophisticated weapons? Further comments by the spokesperson made it difficult to believe neither the police IG, nor the federal government was not involved.  In his words, “The Vigilantes were trained on other arms and combat maneuvers. It is not that they were given a licence or that the federal government has approved that they should use AK-47 Riffles. They were just trained on how to defend themselves. And to be categorically clear, there is no member of vigilante in Katsina that is using that kind of weapon. It wasn’t issued to them by the Federal Government or State Government. They were just trained on how to defend themselves.

“It wasn’t the police that trained them, the police were not there when they were trained, we didn’t participate in the training, but what I know is what I am telling you. They were not issued with AK-47 riffles, but they were trained on how to defend themselves because bandits and terrorists are using AK-47 riffles.”
There was another viral video last week, this time from the terrorist group known as ISWAP. The content of the video portends danger for the people of the South West. The video showed ISWAP celebrating the attack on a police vehicle at Ipele in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State. The video was in fact a statement by ISWAP signalling their presence in the South West. The video has given credence, and urgency to the demands of the Governor of Ondo State to arm the Amotekun Corps. As a governor, his first primary duty is the protection of lives and property; and with the freshness of the Owo massacre of June 5, 2022, in our memory, no one can question the audacity of his next line of action. We are in cusps of a showdown between Ondo State Government and the FG, and the fallout might answer the state police question once and for all.

By: Raphael Pepple

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Opinion

Towards Improved Education For Nigerian Children

Published

on

There is no gainsaying, education is vital to the development of any nation. It is a process through which individuals are made functional members of their society.
It is also a process through which the young acquire knowledge, realise their potentials and use them for self-actualisation to be useful to themselves and others. In every society, education connotes acquisition of  worthwhile knowledge.  That is the reason different countries of the world invest in qualitative education of the entire populace, especially the younger ones. Nigerian government is not left behind in the effort towards the attainment of Education for All. Recall that ten years ago,  the federal government constituted a 17 – member committee for integration of the out-of-school children from the South-South and South-East into the basic education system. Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the then Minister of State for Education, who is now the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, decried the low number of enrolment for boys in the South-South and South-East. In his words, “In spite of the collective efforts of governments at all levels, we know that we are still far from our destination as far as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) are concerned. We know that we have made tremendous improvement in access and national enrolment but millions of our children particularly boys in South-South and South-East states are out of school”.
I think such commitment to addressing basic education challenges should be commended and encouraged for better result. In the South-eastern states,  the increasing boy-child dropout rate is a serious concern and one which will have a detrimental impact on the future of the region and the nation. In many families in this region, boys no longer have interest in education. This is basically because school graduates find it difficult to secure jobs that match their education. Thus, tthe younger generation see little practical value in staying in school beyond a few primary grades. Some parents equally see investment in the education of their children as a useless venture as such children often come back to them after graduation, failing to secure meaningful employment, when their counterparts in business have become, “millionaires”. So, the fundamental problem is our value system. The emphasis on wealth accumulation has trumped-up the core value of education. The family, society and even the education system teach our children to value wealth accumulation than the acquisition of knowledge and problem solving skills. A man’s worth is measured by his material acquisition, not minding how he got it.
This wrong value system, some people argue, is the reason for high rate of kidnapping, armed robbery and other social-vices prevalent in the country, particularly in South-East and South-South regions. Our youths are pre-occupied with an elusive chase for wealth which has prompted them to engage in unbecoming acts. Education experts also attribute the increasing number of out-of-school children in these states to poverty and poor quality of education leading to dissatisfaction from parents and opportunity cost as parents would rather have their children make extra money through hawking than going to schools.
This problem can be solved by governors of the South-South and South-East states declaring ‘total’  free education for primary and secondary school children. Adequate funding of the education system should be the priority of these governors, coupled with proper remuneration, training and discipline of teachers. Governments should ensure that funds allocated for out-of-school children are used for the slated purpose, ensuring that they carry out quality infrastructural works that would stand the test of time. There is need for Nigeria to emulate  other countries that provide for children who are not financially strong. Many of these children have talents within them that can facilitate a better Nigeria someday.
On the other hand, parents should also contribute to reducing the number of out-of-school children by ensuring that their children are planned for, so as to make it easier for them to be properly cared for. Parents should also be sensitised on the importance of education. They should be made to realise that no other investment has such a lasting effect as the education of children. Well-to-do citizens in the south-south and South-East states should support government programmes that will lift children out of poverty and ignorance and be of lasting benefit to future generations.

By: Calista Ezeaku

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Opinion

Road To 2023 Elections

Published

on

The race is on for 2023 elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published  names of the candidates sent by the political parties.  The candidates of the major political parties are sensitising and orientating the public about the importance of the 2023 general elections. The masses are not left out as they have vowed to vote in 2023 elections embarked on voters registrations which was a success in many parts of the country.  As it is now, the beam light is on the following presidential candidates; Senator Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu of APC, Atiku Abubakar of PDP, Dr Peter Obi of Labour Party and Rabiu  Kwankwaso of NNPP.
According to online report by republic. com, INEC made a case for the creation of a new commission to deal with electoral offences. The proposed commission was first mentioned as a recommendation from a committee to look into electoral reforms following the controversial 2007 elections. It was published by Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and led by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Muhammadu Uwais.
The Independent National Electoral Commission’s Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, stated that the commission’s efforts to improve the country’s electoral process would be ineffective unless electoral offenders were effectively prosecuted. He also asserted that INEC’s current mandate was exhaustive and made it difficult for it to effectively prosecute and litigate electoral offenders. He cited that, since 2015, only 60 of 125 cases of electoral offences filed in various courts have resulted in convictions. Indeed, politicians are  mending fences and some who were not favoured are defecting to new political parties. Serious political consultations are going on in the country. Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo,  has denied endorsing the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress.  In a statement, Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, said the news  of the endorsement by Obasanjo making the rounds, especially from supporters of Tlnubu, is unhelpful to 2023 general elections. In anticipation of public presidential campaigns (or rallies) candidates are beginning to pay more visits to key national and state stake-holders, or mobilisers. These visits also include traditional rulers as well as former national and political leaders, for what many of them describe as ‘seek their blessing’. Thus, to boost their political ambitions for 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, Dr Peter Obi and the Vice Presidential candidate of APC, Shetima, attended the Nigeria Bar Association 2023 conference in Lagos.  Indeed, the frontline presidential candidates for the 2023 elections were invited to address a plenary, general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), which was held in Eko Atlantic  City, Lagos.  Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic and Peter Obi, of the Labour Party attended and addressed the delegates present. Rabiu Kwankwaso, of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, was also invited but did not participate, while Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was represented by his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
Candidates who attended used the opportunity to assess their popularity with members of the NBA. Atiku touched on his plans for devolution, Obi discussed his proposals to address employment, while Shettima said he would be responsible for the security affairs under a Tinubu presidency.  Supporters of Obi and Atiku have held forte for their candidates on social media with clips from the events.  The public space is charged with electoral discussions. Meanwhile, INEC has set September 28 as the date for political parties to begin public presidential campaigns (or rallies) across all the states in Nigeria. According to INEC, campaigns will last until 24 hours before the election. With the development, the spokespersons would sell their candidates within 150 days to the public before elections. The Nigerian electorate are anxious to participate in the 2023 elections. Do not sit on the fence, be part of the project 2023.

By: Frank Ogwuonuonu
Ogwuonuonu resides in Port Harcourt.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending