The Armed Forces of Nigeria have deployed the 20MHz bandwidth in the 700MHz Band spectrum allocated to it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to tackle insurgency in the country.
The technological feat was achieved yesterday when President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a Nationwide Secure Defence Headquarters Communications Network, GIWA 2 Project in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Speaking during the event at the remarkable breakthroughs in the technological advancement of communication systems aids in fighting insurgency in the country, Nigerian Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi Rtd, said, “the network has the capability of providing voice, data and video as well as other value added services for the armed forces locations in and outside Abuja.”
According to him, the project which commenced in July 2021 was a welcome development in the evolution of the Nigerian security landscape, especially as it was coming at a time when the country was facing some security challenges.
Magashi noted that the projects would greatly assist in the conduct of operations, promote cooperation and collaboration and ultimately promote national security imperatives.
“I strongly believe that it is a morale booster for members of the armed forces and other security agencies and the ongoing fight against insecurity in the country.
“The realization of these landmark projects and other similar achievements have been made possible by the commitment and doggedness of the administration under the leadership of His Excellency Mohammed Buhari” he said.
He explained that in the past exchange of data about this administration has invested substantially through financing or more support for the improved security and, of course, structural system of the country, improved interagency cooperation and collaboration as well as technological advancement towards the security and peace of our nation Nigeria.
According to him, these investments have significantly improved the nation’s capacity to deal with insurgency and other criminalities in the country.
“The Minister of Defense is indeed proud of the direction and support of Mr. President. Let convey our opposition to the president and commander in chief of the armed forces of Nigeria for all the support in the ministry and the military in particular. I also commend the efforts of the armed forces and other security agencies for the sacrifice and commitment to ensure the protection of lives and properties in this country” he said.
The Defence Minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Dr. Ibrahim Kana.
On his part, the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor says the Armed Forces of Nigeria over the years have been desirous of having dedicated and secured communications platforms that could be deployed to enhance administrative, logistical and operational activities.
General Irabor said that “coincidentally, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) allocated 20MHz bandwidth in the 700MHz Band to DHQ for the establishment of a secure Nationwide Defence Communications Network, SNDCN in 2013”.
According to him, following years of planning and consideration of various funding/operating models, DHQ in partnership with Fixxers Telecommunications Limited began establishing the SNDCN codenamed GIWA 2 infrastructure in May 2021.
He noted that the projects commenced with the execution of phase 1 of the plan which was made possible through the intervention of the CBN as directed by Mr. President.
The Defence Chief said that the completed phase 1 involved the construction of the network, data centre and military command centre with all domiciled at Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja.
“The commissioning of the GIWA 2 Project was the culmination of President Buhari’s directives in 2021 that the Defence Headquarters must ensure that farmers displaced by insurgency went back to their farms, noting that the project would ensure a secure communication for the military in carrying out its responsibilities,” General Irabor said.
The Nigerian Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami said digital technology brought about many innovative ideas to facilitate communication in security and even outside security.
He said it also to gathered intelligence, among many others like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, robotics, quantum computing, 5g, cyber security, automotive norms vehicle and many more.
According to him, with the deployment of this QR network, it will support the security institutions.
“Firstly, to build trust, because having a secure network allows you to build trust. Secondly, it enhances the reputation of an institution with this deployment it will go a long way in enhancing the reputation of our security institutions in Nigeria. Number three, it also promotes confidentiality and privacy. Why? Because Security does it need to share their communication facilities and network with others? And I believe this will go a long way in consolidating the achievements of this administration when it comes to security”, he said.
According to him, only last year, the administration granted the approval for the deployment of 5G in Nigeria, which is the most effective generation when it comes to real time communications, among others.
He said that “Nigeria happens to be the first few countries to deploy 5G for commercial purposes” over the wall”.
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefele said the Central Bank of Nigeria, understands the gravity of the vicious relationship between the insecurity and economic growth.
The CBN Governor said that “insecurity devastates the productive capacity of an economy and on the mind governance in a country”.
According to him, in the last few years, farmers all over the country, including those on the outskirts were unable to venture into their farms to cultivate due to banditry and kidnapping.
He noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria went into the process of resolving the problems.
Emiefele explained that the fight against banditry in the Northwest region brought about a new military led initiative, which required the effective disruption of the disruption of the communication network of the funders, but by shutting down the GSM services in that region.
“While this was effective in carbon communication among the founders and helping the military to dismantle much of the insecurity. It also came with a big setback. The shutting down of the GSM network hampers the military’s ability to conduct defense headquarters operations against bandits, especially as those operations involve joint interagency, or strategic communications. It was this setback, the fraud deceiving, as he said key word to project to deploy a special communications network that is solely around the operational and second control of the Nigerian armed forces” he said.
According to him, the contract for the current communication resource was awarded by the CBN to Fixxers Telecommunications Limited as their mandate was to deploy special communication, telecommunication and bespoke satellite network infrastructure to enhance the security capability of the Defence Headquarters.
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