Galaxy Backbone Wins UN Public Service Award

By The Rainbow

For its lead role in promoting government approach to efficient information management using information and communication technology in Nigeria as seen in government ministries and departments with its ICT platform, Galaxy Backbone has clinched the United Nations Public Sector Award, emerging first in Africa. is a common ICT platform built and operated by Galaxy on behalf of all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government for the efficient and effective delivery of public sector services.

The United Nations Public Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide.

According to the letter from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs to Galaxy Backbone, 'Your institution's outstanding achievement has demonstrated excellence in serving the public interest and I am confident it has made a significant contribution to the improvement of public administration in your country. Indeed, it will serve as an inspiration and encouragement for others working for public service.'

Commenting on the UN award, Gerald Ilukwe, Galaxy backbone managing director/chief executive officer, said, 'This is a recognition of the fact that the painstaking consolidation and expansion of government-wide ICT infrastructure has begun to yield its first fruits - enabling the automation of the Federal Executive Council Memoranda process and the creation of a single hub for citizens to access government services.'

Galaxy Backbone's initiative came up for recognition because it represents a creative and exemplary solution that transformed the chaotic information technology landscape in the federal government and its MDAs into a single, coordinated platform for e-government programmes in the space of five years. has also been recognised because of the role it now plays in enabling other electronic government services for internal government operations such as the automation of the memo handling process for Federal Executive Council meetings; government personnel payroll management (IPPIS), thus resulting in the gradual elimination of ghost workers in the federal civil service; and an IP telephony system which allows for communication within and across government MDAs. also supports the delivery of public services such as the provision of bridging assistance for the transportation of petroleum products to maintain uniform prices across the country with over 1,000 trucks processed daily in real time by Petroleum Equalisation Fund; the real-time implementation of new biometric driver's licensing scheme nationwide targeting over 20 million drivers by September 30, 2013; and the processing of over 5 million international passengers in 2012 by the Nigerian Immigrations Service.

This will be the first time any Nigerian initiative or institution is winning the UN Public Service Award in any category.

The overall purpose of the UNPSA programme is to reward the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions towards a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. An annual global competition that promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service, it encourages exemplary public service and recognizes that democracy and successful governance are built on a competent civil service.

The awards aim to: discover innovations in governance; reward excellence in the public sector; motivate public servants to further promote innovation;  enhance professionalism in the public service; raise the image of public service;enhance trust in government; and collect and disseminate successful practices for possible replication between and within countries.

Galaxy Backbone Ltd is an information and communications technology services provider under the Federal Ministry of Communications.

The establishment of Galaxy Backbone by the federal government was driven by the need for government to pursue a cohesive and harmonized approach to information and communications technology acquisition, deployment and utilisation in the public sector.

The company has the mandate to build and operate a nationwide broadband network that provides IP-based connectivity services to all federal government MDAs and institutions. Galaxy is focused on providing ICT infrastructure, applications and services to all federal government MDAs and institutions which includes but not limited to managing government data centers and databases, directory services, national information repositories, IP-telephony and other solutions/services delivered on the shared platform.

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