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NITDA, Galaxy Backbone don’t need collaboration but merger to safe fund, end duplicity
A leading Information Technology (IT) consultant in Lagos, Mr. Joseph Gaga has called on the federal government to forget whatever Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the managers of both the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) and Galaxy Backbone Limited and merge both parastatals as their continued existence amounts to duplication of duties and waste of scare resources.
In an interview in Lagos, Gaga said “I have studied both agencies and came to the realization that they are doing the same thing”.
He said the real cause of lack of operational synergy, collaborations and unhealthy rivalry among ICT parastatals under the Ministry of Communications is because some of them by creation do what others are doing. He added that “Whenever two or three entities are doing the same thing, there are bound to be rivalry and duplication of duties at the expense of the funding government.
He said “Am yet to be told the difference between what the law wants Galaxy Backbone to be doing and what NITDA is doing.
“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).
“The same government created NITDA to drive National Information Technology Policy and creates a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.
“Then the question is what are the sharp or blunt differences between the two agencies; if not wastage of public fund or to create jobs for the ‘boys’.
“Two of them are in the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and Galaxy Backbone is responsible for providing of shared ICT infrastructure, applications and services to all Federal Government MDAs and institutions which Nigerians cannot see happen.
“The agency is expected to build and operate a single nation-wide IP broadband network to provide network services to all Federal Government MDAs and institutions, but the truth is that all most all MDAs host their servers and data abroad, so what is the agency doing?
Business Hilights recalls that recently, the managers of both agencies met to look at how they will function without clash of duties, a pointer to the near fact that both of them are supposed to be one.
During the meeting through a visit of the Galaxy Backbone Limited boss, Mr. Yusuf Kazaure to the Chief Executive Officers of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, both of them were very careful to avoid making comment that will show that they are doing the same thing.
Stemming from the fears of collapsing the two, Kazaure submitted at the meeting that “there is so much work to do in developing the nation’s ICT sector with limited resources hence, the need to form a synergy and collaborate with one another rather than wasting time on the issues that hinder our development.”
They also signed an MoU to streamline their duty limits and avoid jamming of roles because both bodies are technically set up to do same jobs.
It would be recalled that the ill-fated Orasanya Panel report on harmonizing government parastatals and agencies recommended for the merger of both NITDA and Galaxy Backbone.