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We Have Almost Covered the Country with Our Connectivity Rollout- Galaxy Backbone

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Galaxy Backbone, an information technology and shared services provider of the Federal Government of Nigeria, has said that it has almost covered the 36 states of the federation and the FCT Abuja, with its infrastructure backbone connectivity rollout.

Peter Oluka, Co-Convener, AfriTECH; Prof. Abdu-Ja’afaru Bambale, Executive Director, Technical Services, NIGCOMSAT presenting Data Centre Company of the Year Award to Galaxy backbone received by Dauda Oyeleye, Regional Manager, Lagos & South West (GBB)and Chike Onwuegbuchi, Co-Founder, TechCastle Foundation

Prof. Muhammed Bello Abubakar, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Galaxy Backbone Limited, made this known at the Africa Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTECH 2.0) held in Lagos recently.
Abubakar speaking during a fireside session with Mr. Peter Oluka, Editor, TechEconomy, through Dauda Oyeleye, Galaxy Backbone’s Regional Manager, Lagos & Southwest, said that in terms of connectivity rollout, Galaxy Backbone had about four years ago, reached about 11 States down the South, noting that currently, the rollout is spreading fast to the North.
“As we speak, in our second phase, we have delivered about 9 states also that are already connected, making it 20. Another 9 is about 70 per cent completed, and by the end of this phase two, in about six months from now, we will have about 31 states connected with the ability to easily connect the remaining states,” he said.
Responding to a question about government control and dominance, Abubakar said that even if the government takes all the Backbone’s capacity, it cannot be more than 25 percent of what it (Galaxy Backbone) can do, noting, however, that the company has made partnership a key focus of his administration, and backbone the centre of its connectivity as a company.
“Galaxy backbone is providing the enabling environment which service providers can leverage to also provide services. Just as I have mentioned the number of states that we are currently in, Galaxy will not have the capability to distribute broadband to all these locations where we are presently; we have to work with the private sector,” he said.
He urged organisations to talk to Galaxy Backbone more and understand the company’s rollout plans and begin to leverage its capacity to see how they can deliver services because all the issues about sustainability and digitalization are all tied to broadband penetration.
“We have actually provided the backbone infrastructure that will enable a lot of digital transformation, but we cannot do it alone. It’s just an enabling infrastructure, and we have a lot of room to partner with so many people,” Prof Abubakar further assured.
Galaxy Backbone boasts a world-class Tier IV Data Centre located in Kano, which the MD/CEO said is ready for commissioning. This is in addition to the existing Tier III Data centre in Abuja FCT.
“We are already talking to people who are partnering with us. What it means is that you can have the Kano Data centre as a backup for many other data centres that are emerging currently. It can also be used as a primary data centre where you can host your service directly, especially those whose data centres are connected over fibre to our data centre in Abuja.
“We also have a dedicated data centre with so many nodes. As I said, the capacity is massive. We have packages to sell to our customers as well as to end users. We also have packages for our partners who might want to resell,” he said.
Galaxy Backbone was created in 2006, with the objective of harmonizing government infrastructure.
Since its creation, it has eliminated the hitherto existential bottlenecks in connectivity and has succeeded in connecting various ministries, departments and agencies of government.
Galaxy Backbone Limited also received AfriTECH 2022 ‘Data Centre Company of the Year Award, in recognition of the leading role towards providing backbone connectivity to MDAs in Nigeria and other clientele.
 

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AfDB Appoints Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho as Director of Statistics Department

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African Development Bank has appointed Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho, an economist and statistician, as Director of the Statistics Department, effective June 16, 2024.

Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho

Dr Omotosho, a Nigerian national, has more than 21 years experience in developing data strategies to align with the strategic objectives of organisations. He also brings expertise in data compilation, data analytics, macroeconomic research, and policy analysis.

Omotosho previously served as Director of Research and Statistics at the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) in Sierra Leone, where he was seconded from the Central Bank of Nigeria. At WAMA, he provided advice on monetary and economic integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Prior to that he held various positions within the Statistics and Research Departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

As an Assistant Director in the Statistics Department, he led the data analytics team and managed the Central Bank’s strategic initiatives on big data and data analytics. He oversaw projects aimed at enhancing data analytics capabilities for policymaking, automating surveys and statistical systems, improving data sharing infrastructure and developing social media listening tools. His leadership fostered a culture of data analytics within the Central Bank, driving innovation and efficiency in operational and policy processes.

Dr Omotosho holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom (2021); a master’s degree in Applied Statistics and Datamining from the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom (2011); a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Benin, Nigeria (2008); and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria (2000).

He has contributed extensively to academic literature, with publications in reputable journals, including the Journal of Economic Dynamics & Control, Journal of International Money & Finance, Macroeconomic & Finance in Emerging Market Economies, and the Central Bank of Nigeria Journal of Applied Statistics. His research covers big data, econometrics, monetary and fiscal policy interactions, business cycle drivers, and the macroeconomic implications of resource shocks for small open, emerging economies.

Omotosho is a member of the Nigerian Statistical Association, the International Association for Official Statistics, and the Royal Statistical Society.

Commenting on his appointment, he said, “I am grateful to President Adesina for this appointment, and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the continued success and growth of the African Development Bank Group, an institution that plays such a pivotal role in the economic and social development of our beloved continent, Africa. I am fully committed to fulfilling the responsibilities of the position while collaborating effectively with the Bank’s senior leadership team, colleagues, and other strategic partners.”

Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, commented: “I am pleased to appoint Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho, a respected statistician, as Director of the Statistics Department. Dr Omotosho brings to this role an impressive track record in statistics, economics, and data analytics. He will support the Bank in building a robust data ecosystem to achieve our strategic objectives and sustain our long-term development goals.”


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ATII Awards Scholarship to Students

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A knowledge transfer and technology innovation hub, African Technology and Innovation Institutes (ATII) has awarded scholarships to ten pupils from Bridge International Academy, Lagos.

Through its Junior Scholars Program in partnership with Lumina Educational and Empowerment Foundation (Lumina), the scholarship will meet the educational needs of the benefitting pupils through their primary education, which is extendable to their university education.

The Junior Scholars Program is an offshoot of  ATII’s  Innovation, Leaders, Fellowship and Scholars Program that aims to empower and cater to the welfare of students aged 3-12 years from underprivileged and low-income communities by partnering with other organisations to provide scholarships for these rough diamonds.

In addition to the scholarship, ATII also provides STEM-based back-to-school kits and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) materials to spark their desire for education and to contribute to their communities in STEM-related fields.

In her congratulatory message, the Founder of ATII,  Prof. Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua represented by Mr Sunday Awolowo, ATII’s Programs Manager, praised the students for their “outstanding academic excellence” and their “resolve to continue to improve in their academic pursuits, especially in the STEM fields.”

“We hope that the scholarships will continue to encourage you to do great work to pursue STEM. We hope one day in the future you all will be inspired to be an Engineer, a technologist, a mathematician or scientist,” Prof. Ekeng-Itua said.

The ATII Junior Scholars Program is designed to encourage and support students who are interested in pursuing careers in these fields.

Mrs Ezinne Tochie-Asogwa, Manager of Academics at Bridge International Academy, expressed her appreciation to ATII for the generous gesture.

“On behalf of the management and staff of Bridge International Academy, we appreciate the kind gesture of ATII.

ATII is passionate about the next generation of leaders and individuals who will change the world, pursuing its mission to promote African and Indigenous Technologies, while supporting human capital development in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The ATII scholarships will provide financial assistance to the students as they continue their education in STEM fields. The program will also provide mentorship and support from ATII professionals.

 


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CBN, FintechNGR Chart the Way Forward to Enhance Nigeria’s Fintech Ecosystem

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In light of recent developments aimed at strengthening Nigeria’s fintech sector, Ade Bajomo, President of FintechNGR, led a team from the Association’s Governing Council in an engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to chart the way forward.

Receiving the team at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, Philip Ikeazor, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, commended FintechNGR’s active advocacy efforts that have significantly improved the fintech ecosystem.

The Central Bank emphasized the need for the Association to work closely with stakeholders to operate within regulatory provisions, facilitate compliance, and establish robust risk management frameworks and governance structures.

Mr. Ikeazor stated, “The Central Bank understands the critical roles of fintechs in driving financial inclusion to the last mile. Our efforts are geared towards helping fintechs become more attractive to investors and achieve greater success.”

During the meeting, Ade Bajomo noted that while stakeholders strive to comply with regulatory requirements, they sometimes face challenges beyond their control.

“The common understanding within our ecosystem is that compliance makes the environment safer for all to innovate, scale, and collaborate. FintechNGR will ensure the co-creation of a support structure with the CBN to enhance compliance.”

Some of the initiatives the regulators plan to pursue with the ecosystem include making the 2024 Nigeria Fintech Week more impactful, enriching the activities of the Regulators Forum, organizing fintech learning series for various stakeholders, and exploring self-regulation status for FintechNGR to foster closer relationships with regulators.

FintechNGR remains committed to working with all regulators to better position the ecosystem to be more inclusive and impactful.

 


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