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Towards boosting the Nigeria’s digitalisation process

At the launch of the National Tier IV Data Centre located in Kano on  January 30, 2023 by President Muhammadu Buhari, it would have been…

At the launch of the National Tier IV Data Centre located in Kano on  January 30, 2023 by President Muhammadu Buhari, it would have been most fit and proper to play “Save the Best for Last”, a song by American singer and actress, Vanessa Williams.  

Co-written by Philip E. Galdston/Wendy Waldman-parker/Jon Lind, the title of the song derives from the idiomatic expression of keeping something appealing in reserve until the end or the final moment. 

On the famous Ahmadu Bello Way, Nassarawa GRA, which is less than 2km to the Kano State Government House, now stands a magnificent edifice, the National TIER 4 Data storage facility.  

The launch closely followed the commissioning by the president on December 20, 2022, of the National Shared Services Centre (NSSC). The centre, which houses the TIER 3 Data storage facility, is expected to serve as a strategic and important resource to stakeholder organisations in both the public and the private sector. 

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The TIER 4 Data storage facility is a major component of the phase 2 of the National Information and Communications Infrastructure Backbone (NICTIB) project. It is strategically located in the city of Kano as a model of the envisioned full-fledged national Data Center concepts that support the Data Sovereignty aspirations of the Nigerian government.  

Following the activation of the NICTIB phase 2 project, in November 2020, the final detailed design of the facility was embarked on and received the approval of stakeholders.  

The government of Kano State actively supported the project by duly allocating a befitting plot of land for its development.  

One remarkable fact about the data centre project is the speed with which it was conceived and implemented – everything from detailed design to completion was nine months – June 2021 to March 2022. 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, said the impetus for the multi-million-naira project was provided by the president who directed the ministry, “to complete the project as part of the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone (NICTIB 2).” 

He explained the significance of the project: “There is no data centre above this in the whole world because tier four data centre is the best all over the world. That is why the reliability is 99.999 per cent. So, by implication, this is the best anywhere in the world.”  

He said the project was significant because “you cannot build a knowledge-based economy without where to keep your data.  

“The security, reliability, functionality and many more are key to the success of the data centre. Secondly, it will go a long way in supporting Nigeria to continue to consolidate its own digital economy because the data centre is key to the digital economy. Thirdly, it will also support our country to continue to diversify our economy. Number four, it will increase revenue for the government. Number five, there are also many opportunities for job creation, both in private and public sectors. And finally, it will improve our cyber security and cyber space.” 

The CEO of Galaxy Backbone Limited further said:  “If you look at the trend, the trajectory is always moving forward, and that is what this data centre is also going to do. In some few years to come, you will see that we are going to have much more unprecedented achievements. Now, the producers of services and products will get a much easier link-up with the consumers and ultimately, the businesses will continue to flourish in multiple forms.” 

Its facilities comprise a 600 sqm tier 4 data centre with capacity of 46 rack cabinets and fully equipped data centre infrastructure including cloud of 2.2PB storage capacity, 6,144vCPUs and 9TB memory; a regional office building of three floors, with private and open office spaces; a Network Operations Center; training facilities; meeting rooms; and a colocation room occupying 900 sqm of space. 

The benefits of the centre are immense. In addition to providing full backup services for the primary Data Center facility in Abuja, it ensures full-fledged service availability that allows for independent operation and national cloud computing service delivery.  

It is providing full backup services for the primary Data Center facility in Abuja that allows for independent operation and regional cloud computing service delivery. Its containerised design provides for high scalability.  

This facility is available to both government and its agencies and private sector organisations looking to leverage the reliable infrastructure in providing services to their own clients.  

The GBB CEO said the Kano Data Centre will offer an enabling environment for ease of doing business to boost Nigeria’s GDP.  

“The information technology space is huge. The interesting thing about this industry locally and globally is its fast pace of evolution and transformation. As customer requirements expand, the potential and possibilities of this industry that now powers all industries expand too. As an organisation that is fully aware of the reality that it cannot be everything or all things to its numerous customers and stakeholders, Galaxy Backbone (GBB) has chosen to focus on one area that can help create the platform for other local ICT companies, Original Equipment Manufacturers and organisations from the private and public sector dealing with a lot of data,” he said. 

Indeed, Mr President has saved the best for the last in the very critical communications and digital economy sector! 


Ibrahim sent this piece from Abuja