Nigeria's state-owned operator Galaxy Backbone has shortlisted about 250 ICT firms to participate in the provision of the 1-GOV.net programme aimed at providing bandwidth and ICT infrastructure and services to ministries, departments and agencies of the government.
Over 400 ICT companies participated in the bid to execute the project billed to cost N3 billion. The amount is already provided for in the budget approved by the Federal Government last year.
Galaxy Backbone initiative is in keeping with its operational strategy to collaborate as much as possible with private sector ICT companies in the provision of common infrastructure services to the Federal Government.
The conduct of an open competitive bidding by the company is in compliance with the 2007 Public Procurement Act and Galaxy's commitment to collaborate with the indigenous ICT industry.
The public opening of the bids was the culmination of a long and painstaking process that commenced last August with the placement of advertisements in four national newspapers and the company's website, requesting interested and qualified companies, which were desirous of partnering with Galaxy Backbone Plc to obtain bid documents from its offices in Abuja.
Galaxy's Head Corporate Strategy and Planning, Mr Frank Ugbodaga, stated that over 250 indigenous ICT companies (service providers, value added resellers, systems integrators and consultants) were shortlisted for competitive bidding after a pre-qualification exercise was conducted with over 400 applications received.
Galaxy expects to form partnerships with the successful companies to ensure delivery of quality services and also help build capacity in the ICT sector. Galaxy's strategy also seeks value-adding collaborations with Service Providers who have already invested in appropriate connectivity technologies like optical fibre and metropolitan area networks. On procurement of bandwidth - Galaxy seeks partnerships to secure bulk capacity in order for Government to benefit from cost savings and economies and efficiencies of scale.
The opening of the financial submissions covered the following lots: System Integrators (SI), Wireless MAN (WMAN), Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), Federal Secretariat LAN (Fed. Sec. LAN), Support Services (LAN Administration), Information Security & Management System (ISMS Consulting), Training & Delivery, Hosted Massaging & Collaboration (HMC), Enterprise Systems Management (EMS), Content Development, Awareness & Enlightenment Campaign and Service Oriented Architecture Consulting (SOA Consulting).
The 1-GOV.net programme is aimed at achieving a fully connected Federal Government and deploying ICT infrastructure for transversal applications and services. Under the programme, connectivity will be provided for all Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies using optical fibre and VSAT technologies. Local Area Network Services will be upgraded at the Federal Secretariats and Galaxy will deploy centralized Data Centre services and key initiatives like Government Wide email (messaging and collaboration) amongst other services.