Upgrading information communication technology (ICT) in Nigeria has become a necessity to hasten the digital transformation journey of the nation, the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami said on Wednesday.
Mr Pantami, who presented a memo under his supervising ministry at the federal executive council meeting, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged the ministry to upgrade the IT infrastructure in the country.
He said the government has redirected public institutions to patronise Galaxy backbone for information technology projects.
“What the memo speaks about is the need to upgrade and be more alive to digital transformation in our activities.
He also spoke about how the coronavirus has had an impact on the activities of the federal executive council meeting.
“We have seen how the Covid-19 pandemic brought about the need to be conducting activities virtually and today we have attended the 14th virtual executive council meeting. This is unprecedented. We have been pushed by necessity to virtual activities.
“It is because of this that Galaxy Backbone Limited has deployed ICT infrastructure in federal public institutions like State House here, where we have 1,500 LAN points, that is local area network points.”
“Federal secretariat phase one has 2,750 LAN points; federal secretariat phase two, 4,896; and the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has 1,176 local areas network, while Mabushi, where minister of works and housing resides, they have about 800 local area network points. Most of the facilities being used were deployed 10, 11 and 12 years ago,” he added.
He said the most recent facility in most of the places was the ones deployed eight years ago with the validity of these facilities at usually five years maximum.
While emphasising on the need for these facilities to be upgraded, he said the world has evolved digitally.
“We are going virtual almost every day and only Almighty God knows when this COVID-19 pandemic will leave us, however, we are optimistic and prayerful as well,” he added.
Mr Pantami said President Buhari has directed that an audit assessment of all federal public institutions should be conducted to identify those that need to upgrade their facilities.
“We have done that and the report has been presented before the council being chaired by our boss, Mr President, and secondly after that, Galaxy backbone has been established to be providing digital services to all public institutions,” he said.
The presentation highlighted the need for upgrading ICT infrastructure, directed public institutions to patronize Galaxy and thirdly reinforced the commitment of the federal government towards the promotion of digital services.