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Prof. Muhammad Abubakar: A technological trailblazer



By King Richards

In the ever-evolving technology landscape, certain individuals emerge as trailblazers, showcasing extraordinary expertise, unwavering integrity, and visionary leadership. One such exceptional figure is Prof. Muhammad Abubakar, whose remarkable contributions have not only left an indelible mark on Nigeria and Africa but have also inspired the global tech community.

In this quick eagle-eye view article, we take a glimpse at the soaring heights attained by the Technological Trailblazer under the following references: visionary leadership, energy sector expertise, the revolution at Galaxy Blackbone, and extraordinary advancement in academics, professional life, and personal life.

A Visionary Leader As Warren Bennis once aptly stated, “Leadership is the ability to transform vision into reality,” and Professor Abubakar exemplifies this notion through his exceptional leadership qualities. Over the span of two decades, he has made significant strides in academia, research, and innovation, leaving an enduring legacy in fields such as academic development, oil and gas exploration, and industry growth.

Unparalleled expertise in the energy sector

As a distinguished professor of Petroleum Geosciences, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar possesses unrivalled expertise in the energy sector. His extensive knowledge and experience have been meticulously cultivated through years of dedication and unwavering commitment. With a profound understanding of global best practises in the energy industry, he has emerged as a sought-after authority, offering invaluable insights and guidance to national and international organisations alike.

Appointment as the Managing Director/CEO of Galaxy Backbone

In January 2020, Professor Muhammad Bello Abubakar assumed the esteemed position of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Backbone, following his appointment by former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. This appointment serves as a testament to his exceptional leadership and managerial abilities, as well as his unwavering commitment to driving technological advancements within Nigeria.

Academic and professional achievements of Prof.Muhammad Abubakar

Prof. Abubakar’s journey toward excellence began early in his educational pursuits. He attended Jankai Primary School, Pilot Junior Secondary School, and Government Science Secondary School, establishing the foundation for his future accomplishments.

Subsequently, he pursued higher education at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi, where he obtained his B.Tech. in Applied Geology in 1995. Driven by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a relentless pursuit of excellence, Prof. Abubakar continued his educational journey, earning an M.Sc. in Sedimentology/Petroleum Geology in 2001, followed by a Ph.D. in the same field in 2006. His exceptional academic achievements were honoured when he received the prestigious National University Commission’s (NUC) Best Ph.D. Thesis Award in Physical Sciences from all Nigerian universities.

Leading figure in the academic community 

Throughout his career, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar’s passion for academia and his unwavering commitment to knowledge dissemination have been evident. He embarked on his journey as a graduate assistant in the Department of Geology at ATBU in 1997, steadily ascending the ranks until he achieved the distinguished position of Professor of Petroleum Geology in 2014.

His expertise and dedication have earned him recognition from esteemed institutions, leading to appointments as an External Examiner and Assessor at renowned universities such as Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Bayero University, Kano, and Akwa Ibom State University. Additionally, he has played a pivotal role as a member and Chair of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Geology Departments Accreditation Panel, contributing to the enhancement of geology departments across universities in Nigeria.

How Prof. Muhammad Abubakar is driving technological advancements at the Galaxy Backbone

Under the astute leadership of Professor Muhammad Abubakar, Galaxy Backbone (GBB) has undergone a remarkable transformation, achieving significant milestones along the way. Recognising the vital importance of seamless communication and collaboration within the government, particularly during challenging periods like the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Abubakar spearheaded the establishment of virtual interaction platforms. These platforms ensured uninterrupted connectivity for key government personnel, even from the confines of their homes. Such initiatives played a pivotal role in maintaining effective governance and decision- making amidst lockdowns and movement restrictions.

Operational efficiency has been a paramount focus for Prof. Abubakar. Through a myriad of initiatives, he has driven improvements, enhanced agility, minimised costs, and elevated service quality at GBB. The organisation has implemented measures to augment technical and financial effectiveness, foster human resources development, and attract top-tier talent. Furthermore, the establishment of the Research, Digital Innovation, and Skills Department has revitalised and nurtured productive relationships with stakeholders and customers.

Commitment to personal and professional growth

Prof. Muhammad Abubakar’s pursuit of excellence extends far beyond his academic and professional achievements. He firmly believes in lifelong learning and continuously strives for personal and professional development. To remain at the vanguard of the ever- evolving technological landscape, he has actively participated in numerous information and communication technology (ICT) training programmes, including the esteemed Cisco Academy Networking certification. Additionally, he has engaged in various local and international programmes centred on leadership, strategic management, and sustainable development in the energy sector.

Professor Muhammad Abubakar’s journey as a technological trailblazer is nothing short of extraordinary. His integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, empathy, and gratitude have not only shaped his leadership style but have also inspired those around him. With his unparalleled expertise, exceptional leadership abilities, and unyielding commitment, Professor Muhammad Abubakar serves as a benchmark, setting the highest standards for aspiring leaders and trailblazers in the field of technology.

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Nigeria’s IT sector will remain strong inspite of challenges – DG NITDA



The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa has stated that Nigeria’s IT sector will remain strong inspite of challenges.

Speaking during an event ‘CONNECT THE DOT’S CONFERENCE’, with the Theme ”Igniting Resilience and Empowering Youth”, which was held in Abuja, the DG said the agency is focusing on building resilience in the face of challenges for the development of Nigeria’s information technology sector.

He stated that NITDA is working on various initiatives to ensure that the country’s IT industry remains strong and resilient in the face of challenges.

“We must be resilient in the face of challenges, and this is particularly important in the IT industry,” Inuwa said.

“We are working on various initiatives to promote resilience in the sector, including the establishment of IT hubs in universities, and the promotion of local content development.”

He also highlighted the importance of digital transformation in building resilience, stating that NITDA is working to ensure that more Nigerians have access to digital technologies and skills, which will enable them to adapt to the changing digital landscape.

He further reiterated the agency’s commitment to building a strong and sustainable IT industry in Nigeria, and pledged to work with relavant bodies towards achieving its goals.

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NCC pledges support to Meta on digital economy initiatives



By Blessing Emmanuel, Abuja

The Nigerian Communi cations Commission (NCC) has pledged its readiness to support digital economic initiatives of investors, including Meta (formerly Facebook), that align with Nigeria’s vision for a robust digital economy.

During a visit to the NCC’s headquarters in Abuja, a delegation from Meta, led by Kojo Boakye, the company’s Vice President for Africa, the Middle-East, and Turkey, met with Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The NCC EVC emphasised the importance of compliance with industry laws, regulations, and guidelines for creating a level-playing field that encourages healthy competition and sustainable growth in the Nigerian telecoms sector.

Boakye congratulating Dr. Maida on his appointment, shared Meta’s ongoing efforts to land the 2Africa submarine cable in Nigeria.

According to Boakye, “The 45,000-kilometer-long cable, scheduled to go live in 2023, will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects, interconnecting Europe (via Egypt), Asia (via Saudi Arabia), and Africa.

“With a design capacity of up to 180 terabytes per second (Tbps), the 2Africa cable aims to deliver much-needed Internet capacity and reliability across Africa, supporting the growth of 4G, 5G, and fixed broadband access.”

Boakye sought NCC’s support in navigating legal and regulatory processes for the cable’s landing in Nigeria, emphasising the positive impact it will have on connectivity and affordability.

The Meta delegation also outlined plans to simultaneously land the 2Africa cable in Lagos and Akwa-Ibom States through a consortium.

Boakye emphasised that this approach aims to connect those currently without access while enhancing and providing affordable access for those already connected.

Responding, Dr. Maida assured Meta of NCC’s commitment to supporting initiatives that align with Nigeria’s digital economy agenda and welcomed the potential benefits the 2Africa cable could bring to the country’s telecommunications landscape.

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Minister Tijani reels out 100 days achievement, hails Tinubu



The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy has reeled out his 100 days achievements as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In a recent address, Minister Tijani expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for the unique honour bestowed upon him, and highlighted the collective accomplishments, outlining the path ahead for the Ministry.

Commending the unwavering support from directors, agency heads, and the entire team (NCC, NITDA, NigComSat, NDPC, NIPOST, GBB, etc), he emphasised the dynamic and cohesive force that has been shaped within the Ministry during this period.

Highlighting his achievements in office, Dr Tijani said, “The Ministry’s mandate, structured around five pillars – Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital, and Trade – forms the core of the Strategic Blueprint. This blueprint guides the Ministry’s role in realizing the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

“In the first 100 days, the Knowledge pillar has been instrumental in driving initiatives, most notably the Three Million Technical Talent (3MTT) program. With over 1.6 million talented Nigerians applying in a month, partnerships, including a N1 Billion commitment from IHS Nigeria and UNDP’s funding for 3,000 internships, have significantly amplified the impact.

“The National AI Research Scheme received 2,118 proposals, showcasing the depth of talent in applying technology to critical sectors. Collaborations with the Raspberry Pi Foundation led to the establishment of Code Clubs in 17 locations, fostering technological talent from a young age.

“Under the Policy pillar, collaboration with NITDA resulted in the launch of the Startup Support and Engagement Portal, aligning with the Startup Act. White Papers on top AI talent of Nigerian descent and the 1:10:100 Implementation approach outline strategic directions.

“The Infrastructure pillar achieved milestones, including mapping over 2,500 innovation spaces and revamping NigComSat’s platforms. Extending coverage to underserved locations aligns with the commitment to providing digital opportunities. Engagements at global forums such as the Mobile World Congress and ITU-World Radio Conference underscore Nigeria’s global presence.”

On innovation, entrepreneurship and capital, Dr Tijani noted that “significant partnerships were forged under the Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital (IEC) pillar, including the $116 million financing for AFD’s I-DICE program and a $100 million Global AI partnership.”

“Initiatives like the 4IRTA platform and the Young Innovative Builders program demonstrate dedication to leveraging technology for sustainable development,” he narrated.

The Minister explained further that the achievements of his 100 days in office were a result of collective efforts that have shaped the first 100 days.

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