LAGOS, NIGERIA – Galaxy Backbone, a public enterprise of the Nigerian federal government charged with establishing a single nationwide infrastructure platform, will connect 1,500 post offices across the country by December 2009.

Galaxy managing director Gerald Ilukwe made the announcement following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

The project will affect 12 million Nigerians in rural and under-served communities, which will gain digital access through a broadband network that Galaxy will establish, Ilukwe said

Galaxy will implement the project by providing the necessary VSAT (very small aperture terminal) based connectivity to all of NIPOST’s 1,500 post offices, he added.

The installation of the network will enable the realization of NIPOST’s ambition to transform itself into a modern, full-service postal agency that offers various electronic services to local communities, Ilukwe explained

The network is designed to provide NIPOST with a VPN (virtual private network) in order to enable the modernization and automation of its operations and to create new service options, Ilukwe said in a news statement.

Moreover, the Galaxy network will provide NIPOST with the backbone infrastructure it needs to implement its community broadband networks, the statement read.

NIPOST’s initiative falls under the National Information, Communication and Education Programme, the federal government’s ICT policy intervention aimed at the realization of its e-governance objective and Millennium Development Goals.