Home Big Story Will Buhari take NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, NIGCOMSAT to Science and Technology Ministry?

Will Buhari take NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, NIGCOMSAT to Science and Technology Ministry?

Will Buhari take NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, NIGCOMSAT to Science and Technology Ministry?
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Will President Muhammadu Buhari move National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone and Nigeria Communication Satellite Company (NIGCOMSAT), three technology agencies supervised by Ministry of Communications, to Ministry of Science and Technology?

This is the prevailing question within the Nigerian information and communication technology (ICT) industry following plans by Aso Rock, the nation’s seat of power to switch the Federal supervisory authority for the three key technology agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications
Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology

Technology Times can confirm that President Buhari has set up a committee headed by Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President, to consider the request by the Ministry of Science and Technology to have the affected agencies moved from Barrister Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications.

If the Science and Technology Minister gets his wish, his Communications Ministry’s counterpart will be left to oversee only the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the autonomous telecoms regulatory agency for the telecoms industry, and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), the government postal and allied services agency.

NIGCOMSAT Satellite Ground Station in Abuja
NIGCOMSAT Satellite Ground Station in Abuja

Barring any last minute change of mind in Aso Rock, the nation’s seat of power, NITDA, the Federal Government agency responsible for information technology (IT) policy implementation; its cousin, Galaxy Backbone, which functions as the technology services provider to Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as NIGCOMSAT, which owns and manages Nigeria’s communication satellite systems including the NigComSat 1R in orbit, will now be headed by a new Federal boss, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and current Minister of Science and Technology.

Top government officials conversant with situation in Abuja, the nation’s seat of power say that the issue which has pitted both Ministers against each other is very close to being decided by VP’s committee following a key opinion expressed by another member of the team, Mr Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nigeria.

The Attorney General’s opinion’s is seen as a likely game changer in deciding on the request by Onu, current Minister of Science and Technology that the President allows his Ministry become the supervisor of these “technology” agencies, and the decision is likely within the next few days, people conversant with the situation have told Technology Times at the weekend.

If the decision goes in favour of the Science and Technology Ministry, the looming transfer of the three technology agencies will shift the balance of power, influence and authority to the Ministry and swell its stockholding of Federal parastatals from 17 to 20 agencies.

Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN
Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, (left) with President Muhammad Buhari

If the Science and Technology Minister gets his wish, his Communications Ministry’s counterpart will be left to oversee only the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the autonomous telecoms regulatory agency for the telecoms industry, and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), the government postal and allied services agency.

If the decision goes in favour of the Science and Technology Ministry, the looming transfer of the three technology agencies will shift balance of power, influence and authority to the Ministry and swell Federal parastatals under its watch from 17 to 20 agencies.

Galaxy Backbone, NIGCOMSAT and NITDA, Three Agencies Wanted by Science and Technology Ministry Supervised by Federal Ministry of Communications of Nigeria:

Yusuf Kazaure, Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited
Yusuf Kazaure, Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited

Galaxy Backbone

  • Galaxy Backbone was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria to operate a nationwide IP-based network that will provide a common platform for connectivity and other infrastructure services for all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
  • Galaxy Backbone Mandate
  • As per the mandate of its parent, the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Galaxy Backbone is responsible for the following:
  • Be the provider of shared ICT infrastructure, applications and services to all Federal Government MDAs and institutions.
  • Build and operate a single nation-wide IP broadband network to provide network services to all Federal Government MDAs and institutions.
  • Deploying and maintaining all national database management systems and transversal applications in government. These include government wide messaging and collaboration, federal public service personnel and payroll system, Government gateway and national portal.
  • Set standards and guidelines for the support of government MDAs in the acquisition and acceptable usage of ICT infrastructure, applications and services across different agencies and government institutions.
  • Providing Wide Area Networks(WAN) and Metropolitan Area Networks(MAN) to connect all government entities.Be the provider of technical support to the Ministry of Communication Technology for end to end Quality Assurance of ICT projects and capacity building for ICT professionals in government.

 

NIGCOMSAT

Ms Abimbola Alale, MD/CEO of NIGCOMSAT
Ms Abimbola Alale, MD/CEO of NIGCOMSAT

NIGCOMSAT Ltd owns and operates the Nigerian Communications Satellite systems. The NigComSat-1R system is built to provide domestic and international satellite services via a 2 way satellite communications service across West, Central, South East Africa, Europe and Asia. Our main focus is to operate and manage the Nigerian Communications Satellites to provide on commercial basis, comprehensive transmission services via digital or analogue systems and to operate same by either fixed or mobile satellite, direct broadcast satellite services, end to end solutions and to engage in transponder leasing and such business for profit.

Corporate Vision

To be the leading communication satellite solution provider in Nigeria and indeed Africa.

Corporate Mission

To provide ubiquitous connectivity and communication satellite solutions through innovation.

NIGCOMSAT Target Markets

Our target market as regards communications satellites is in respect of, but not limited to players in the following industries:

  • Telecommunications
  • Broadcasting (Radio and Television)
  • Broadband Internet Services
  • Navigation and Global Positioning Systems
  • Real Time Monitoring Services
  • Education

About NITDA

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is committed to implementing the National Information Technology Policy. Our mandate is to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.

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