By Peter Egwuatu
Nextzon Business Services Limited, inÂ partnership with CISCO and Dimension Data, is set to implement the proposed e-Government Initiative of the Cross River State Government. The programme, aimed at deploying a Wireless Fidelity and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiFi/WiMax) IP Network over the state, is estimated to cost N2.78 billion.
The project will provide the government and citizens of Cross River State with internet solutions through WiMax Network Backbone, Localised WiFi, Voice, Data and Video services. The scope also includes interface with existing government fibre network, robust and flexible billing model and mobile data applications for PDAs, among others.
Macauley Atasie, managing director of Nextzon, said the network would provide services to support the stateâ€™s tourism drive, stateâ€™s eHealth policy, the compulsory ICT in schools, government-to-citizen and government-to-business eGovernance portals, security and transportation networks.
â€œThe proposed framework is multiservice wireless network architecture that supports the state government, public safety and public access. It enables a wide variety of advanced, new applications and further enhances the use of the ones already on ground,â€ said Atasie.
The managing director, while noting information and communications technology (ICT) as a key catalyst to the growth of Cross River State, further said that the system, when fully implemented, will empower the citizens of the state and visitors through provision of access to the internet and useful information about the state in particular and the world, in general.
â€œThis initiative will stimulate economic development, allow more responsive and collaborative services and increase tourism and location-based services in Cross River State,â€ Atasie concluded.
The eCross River Initiative will be executed in three phases. Emmanuel Agha, head of e-Business in Nextzon said; â€œThe Phase One, which involves infrastructural rollout to power government-guaranteed businesses and value-added services within Calabar and its environs, is expected to commence in August 2009.â€
He further informed that Phases Two and Three of the project, billed to commence later, will see to the expansion of the network to accommodate government-related businesses; and roll out of infrastructure to support retail broadband internet and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services respectively.
The Cross River Network Company, powered by Nextzon, is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that has the exclusive concession for some government ICT services in the state for a period of six years.
Nextzon Business Services Limited was founded in March 2005 as an enterprise building and ventures advisory firm whose services include business strategy design, regional and international expansion, business process outsourcing, business modelling, fund raising, management buyouts and management oversight etc.
In its four-year existence, Nextzon has grown to become a respected and rapidly rising brand with high utility products and services, great people with exceptional talents and entrepreneurial drive, and has built strong relationships with its rapidly expanding clientele.
Nextzon owns and manages the leading â€œfor profitâ€ business incubator in Nigeria which currently enjoys World Bank support. Nextzon currently employs over 100 people.