• We’re providing worldclass ICT services to reduce governance cost –Olulade, Galaxy Backbone boss

    Were providing worldclass ict services to reduce governance cost olulade galaxy backbone boss - nigeria newspapers online
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    From Kenneth Udeh, Abuja

    Executive Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited, Hon Olusegun Olulade, has said that the operational activities of the Federal government-owned ICT agency is in tandem with the essence of the Steve Oronsaye Report which specifies a much leaner and more efficient government while cutting the cost of governance in the process.

    Oluade who heads the agency’s Customer Centricity and Marketing Unit explained how the organisation has deployed world class ICT technologies to trim the cost of governance across government ministries, departments and agencies.

    Stressing that the Oronsaye Report specifically recommended the continued existence of the Agency, the former Epe Constituency II Lagos Assembly member highlighted the state of the art ICT services rendered by Galaxy Backbone.

    In this interview, Oluade explains that individuals, private and government institutions do not need to seek ICT services from foreign companies because Galaxy Backbone offers services of global standards.

    What challenges does Galaxy Backbone face in achieving its mandate?

    We created a new narration immediately after we came into office, because the major challenges we had were “perception” and the “visibility” of Galaxy Backbone, which hindered it from meeting up with its complete mandate as expected.

    One of the mandates is to ensure that there is a reduction in the cost of running ICT in all government agencies and institutions and also to reduce the cost of ICT governance by providing that backbone for seamless operations and unifying purposes of our ICT drive.

    Unfortunately, we have seen the better and unpalatable periods in Galaxy Backbone but with the new sheriff in town championed by President Bola Tinubu, who has used technology to address challenges when he was governor of Lagos State, he has really helped in focusing and having the round peg in the round hole in the industry through the appointment of a fantastic Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the person of Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, who is topnotch, hardworking and ready to add value the system.

    We also have in Galaxy Backbone a professor (Ibrahim Adeyanju) who knows his onions, very vast and specialist in the ICT sector. Considering the team that is working now in Galaxy Backbone, there has been a lot of improvement.

    We are opening new frontiers for Galaxy Backbone to be known and more visible and ensure that we make all our customers the king that they are and ensure that they get the best services that they can ever get anywhere in the world.

    When it comes to data management the sovereignty of our nation is key; the data that we have being stored outside this country is not helpful at all and Galaxy Backbone is there, being a government agency has a Data Centre that is fortified in tiers three and four, which is the best you can get anywhere in the world today.

    We are involved in cloud sales, hosting of Web sessions, we engage in connectivity that a lot of people are not even aware of here, we will continue to roll out those information to the populace so that they can understand and get involved. We understand that we spend a lot of dollars in foreign exchange doing licencing that we can easily get here in Nigeria at lower cost.

    You don’t need to build any data centre, you don’t need to build servers all over and occupy spaces that can be used for other meaningful purposes.

    You can just talk to us at Galaxy Backbone and we shall provide it for you at very minimal cost and we have a fibre optic cable that is also the backbone of connectivity laid across 29 states in Nigeria and still counting, including Abuja.

    You can imagine that sort of massive infrastructure that Nigeria can be proud of that is owned by the Nigerian Government. You’ll be amazed at the state-of-the-art infrastructure we have at Galaxy Backbone.

    Those services that you’re searching for outside the country are just here. You’ll be doing yourself a lot of disservice when you go outside to deal with companies outside the country because you pay in FX and the sovereignty of that data you’re storing is very likely to be compromised; that is why people need to do business with Galaxy Backbone and we are in all the six geopolitical zones.

    The world is talking about AI (Artificial Intelligence) today but you can rest assured that Galaxy Backbone is also playing a major role in that as we speak.

    We can customize your challenges, we have solution engineers that are within who can provide you with any solution that will make your business, agency or organisation to be more efficient and productive.

    We also organise training because we have an academy where we can train your ICT staff or young Nigerians. We are involved in what the Honourable Minister is doing to empower young people across the country and we are partnering and supporting the Honourable Minister in achieving his goals.

    With regards to the presidential directive for the implementation of the Steven Oronsaye Report, do you agree with the Senate’s view that your organisation, NITDA and USPF perform similar roles?

    We don’t play similar roles with NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency and USPF (Universal Service Provision Fund). This is a limited liability company and we are registered under CAMA (Companies and Allied Matters Act) and aside from that we are empowered through the Oronsaye Report.

    If you go through the report you will see that it specifically empowered Galaxy Backbone by recommending that we should continue to exist, because we do a lot to reduce the cost of governance and that is a major aspect that everyone is talking about and it’s the main reason President Tinubu directed the implementation of that report.

    The report was emphatic in stating that Galaxy Backbone must be empowered to continue to exist as the Number One agency of government that deals with ICT in this country.

    If we are properly positioned and strengthened as expected, the cost of operations of governance in Nigeria will be reduced by 80 to 90 percent. Because we have everything anybody can think of as long as ICT is concerned and we also host some bank data and we do cloud for some of them and I can assure you that the private sector are now doing business with us, they now have that trust to work with us.

    How are you keeping in touch and impacting with your Lagos constituents in Epe as a former lawmaker?

    Though it’s a different ball game now, I can’t detach myself from my people. My people are still my people and I still represent them. I am a Nigerian and that is what qualified me to be appointed here by Mr President.

    Democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people. Everything I am doing here is for the people that include my constituents.  I can assure you that I can never disconnect from my constituents.

    Now I have a bigger platform. Before I was operating at the state level but today I am at the national level but the people are still my major concern. That is why there is talk about reducing the cost of governance in the area of ICT and the empowerment of the youth. Empowering the young ones still involves the people. If you go through my profile I’ve mentored mostly young people. As a former lawmaker, I have made an impact in the life of so many young ones, not only in my constituency but across the state and even the country. As a lawmaker I organized programmes of international recognition that attracted participants from Ghana, neighbouring nations and across the country. My focus has always been about the people and when you’re doing things for the people, they will look out for you wherever you are. I believe that in my current position I have a role to play to ensure that the young ones embrace digital technologies.

    Briefly give us an insight on how you ventured into politics.

    I was fortunate to come from a political family. In fact, my mother and father were politicians. My father was a member and leader of UPN and mother was in NPN. At some point they were in SDP and NRC respectively. I was the youngest individual where the former governor of Lagos, Sir Michael Otedola held his first political meeting to become governor.

    I used to be the one involved in arranging chairs for meetings whenever the political members of my parent’s political parties were coming to our house. Through that I started learning public service management and political tolerance, because my parents never had issues despite their different political parties.

    I was also fortunate to start working with our current President from 1998 when we started his political movement. I was part of the first people to join his political campaign and I was coordinating the students and youth arm.

    As you can see, I have always been there. By the time I was done with my university education, I ventured into business and I attempted to contest and I became a lawmaker in 2011 till 2019.

    As a former Lagos East lawmaker, how will you rate the political fortunes of Lagos East?

    It will be unfair to say Lagos East has not been fortunate enough. Lagos East is where we have the free trade zone today and it’s going to be the new Lagos anyhow you decide to look at it. It is also where they are citing the new airport, film city and food hub coming up. If we look at Epe, we have about one third of the total landmass in Lagos State; that is where development will end up no matter the background of whoever is in government. That is where we have enough landmass to build infrastructure, every Government must continue to look at Lagos East. Though we may have not been fortunate enough to lead the state, I believe that the party will look into it and the future of Lagos East is very bright.

    How would rate the performance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the effects of President Tinubu’s policies?

    Lagos has always been blessed with governors and Governor Jide Sanwo-Olu is fantastically delivering on the expectations of Lagosians and we are proud of his leadership and we believe that he will continue with the same pace to deliver more.

    When we talk about the economy of Nigeria today, we are blessed to have the President, we are confident that he will deliver on economy, security, health, agriculture, education and infrastructure because he did in Lagos. Before he became governor in Lagos, armed robbers would write letters to you before coming to a street on Tuesday and they will be there on that day, they would rob everybody and nothing would happen.

    Before he came in, NURTW caused violence in parks and garages and people were affected and they lost goods worth millions of Naira and a lot of people lost their lives but today all those things have become a thing of the past. Before now Lagos used to be dirty but now it’s one of the cleanest cities to live in globally, so Lagos has moved. We had a lot of ghost workers but he introduced the Oracle software like he is doing now with Nigeria, and that became a thing of the past.

    President Tinubu has the capacity. Unfortunately we have a lot of sabotage going on in the system now. Saboteurs are in all sectors, especially in the oil industry and the forex industry. We know those people are increasing the rates of dollar abnormally. Also, we have people increasing the prices of goods and services in Nigeria. That is now the Naira is appreciating you can’t see a corresponding reduction in the price of commodities. Unfortunately, we are not in a military government era. Issues like these are guided by the rule of law. Systematically and strategically the President is returning the direction of the country to a more prosperous and secure nation. You will see the success we are making in security and don’t forget it’s a global problem and the ease of doing business in Nigeria is getting better on a daily basis. I can assure you that in the next year people will come in to ask how we did it.

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