The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, on Tuesday, unveiled the Armed Forces of Nigeria Digital Services Platform (AFNDSP) for the officers, men and families across the country.
Olonisakin, represented by Air Vice Marshal Jomo Osahor, Director General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, said the AFNDSP project was part of armed forces strategic communication.
He said the platform was a sub-unit of the National Rural Telephony Programme (NRTP) which involved the joint usage of the 700MHz frequency between Keywares Networks Ltd. and the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
According to him, the Federal Government, being desirous of providing telephony and broadband services to the larger rural populace, approved the joint usage of the frequency band in 2018.
He said the NRTP project would be executed in three phases, comprising the DSP, 4G core networks and broadband services while phase three would be nationwide expansion of the 4G services.
The defence chief said that of the seven services in the digital service platform, only defence communication (Defcom) E-Mammy Market, E-Learning System (ELS) and School Management System (SMS) were ready for unveiling.
He said that the digital platform was coming at a time when the whole world was struggling to overcome the economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the dependence on communication and broadband services for military operations and general lifestyles has been further accentuated by the advent of COVID-19.
“The extension of DSP to AFN ecosystem will, no doubt, enhance our operations because it will bring vibrancy to the welfare package of personnel across our units and formations nationwide.
`The project when fully completed will also remove the huge amount of funds being expended on telecommunication and broadband services for our operations,’’ he said.
The Chief of Defence Communication, Maj.-Gen. Joseph Orokpo, said that whereas Defcom app platform was exclusively for AFN’s operational uses, SMS and LMS apps would be for both official and un-official uses.
Orokpo said the SMS and LMS platforms were planned to be deployed for use by all schools of the three services nationwide.
He said that the E-Mammy Market would link all AFN mammy markets for the use of officers, men, families, and others within the AFN ecosystem.
According to him, it is important to note that the data base of the mobile applications shall be domiciled within the AFN.
The Managing Director, Keywares Networks, Mr Gerald Ekesiani, said the digital products that would come up subsequently, would include AFN telemedicine and health information management system, asset tracking and management system.
Other platforms according to him include, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and Smart Home and Office Management System (SHSM).
Ekesiani said that the new AFNDSP was coming at a time when “business as usual” was dead due to the ongoing global pandemic.
He said that digital technology had become the new global normal, adding that exponential technologies were rapidly changing lives and societies.
According to him, the AFNDSP will reposition and enhance the ability and capability of the AFN ecosystem to adapt to the new normal, both operationally and socio-economically.
“ Thus, permit me to reassure you that KNL and its partners are committed, and we will deliver as enshrined in our agreement.
“We are ready to increase broadband penetration for the AFN, while providing it with cutting-edge technology, innovative and educative service contents through this project going forward.
“The sustainability of the network and usage of the services are very imperative and critical because KNL will not leave any stone unturned toward ensuring seamless delivery of services to the AFN.
“Hence, KNL implore the AFN and all within its ecosystem to ensure the best uses of all the applicable services to be launched today,’’ he said. (NAN)