The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), PhD, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, today virtually Launched and Unveiled STORM; A Fibre connectivity and Digital Services platform, which is powered by Galaxy Backbone, for the South-East and South-South region of the country.
The launch is part of the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS), and also the National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025. Both National policies were launched and unveiled by his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
The third pillar of the NDEPS (Solid Infrastructure) focuses on providing Internet Connectivity and Data Centres.
Speaking as Chief Host and Special Guest of Honour, the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami challenged the beneficiary states to make proper use of the service provided to them in order to drive economic development.
The Honourable Minister informed that STORM provides a platform to deliver fast and efficient internet and hosting services.
Dr Pantami reiterated the importance of Broadband Penetration, stressing that, Broadband is key to economic development and an enabler that will support other sectors of the economy.
The Minister informed that an increase in Broadband Penetration also brings about a corresponding increase in GDP. “The last two-quarter report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) collaborates this fact”, Pantami said.
Pantami commended the corporation between Galaxy Backbone and Interra Network, asserting that digitalization cannot be achieved in silos, but only through partnership and collaboration.
He congratulated Galaxy Backbone and its project partners for achieving this great feat which provides a platform to deliver fast and efficient Internet and Hosting services for the South-East and South-South region of the country.
About STORM Initiative
The STORM initiative is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria (2020 – 2030). In particular, it supports the implementation of Pillar #3 (the Solid Infrastructure Pillar).
STORM is a significant milestone in support of the Federal Government’s efforts to accelerate broadband penetration across cities and underserved communities. It will support us in meeting the target of the NNBP, which aims to achieve a 90% broadband penetration by 2025.
The STORM Platform
The STORM platform has the capacity to provide non-stop high-speed internet and hosting services across Enugu, Ebonyi, Owerri, Portharcourt, Awka, Onitsha and Asaba cities. Among others, this will increase accessibility to internet services for businesses and residences at these locations, thereby improving the quality of citizens’ lives. It will also provide an enabling environment for existing businesses and create opportunities for new businesses.
The minister speaking said “Furthermore, according to a World Bank report, “Africa has the opportunity to harness the Digital Economy as a driver of growth and innovation, but if it fails to bridge the digital divide, its economies risk isolation and stagnation”. As a nation we are committed to ensuring that we exploit the opportunities of the Digital Economy.”