The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin has officially launched the Armed Forces of Nigeria Digital Service Platform (AFNDSP) for military personnel and their families. The platform which is part of AFN strategic communications is a sub-unit of the National Rural Telephony operated by Messrs Keywares Networks Limited (KNL). The project was initiated by the Federal Government, under the auspices of the Ministry of Communication on joint usage of 700MHz Frequency Band.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, the CDS, represented by the Director General (DG), Defence Research and Development Bureau, Air Vice Marshal Jomo Osahor said the new Defence Communication App operating on the 700MHz Frequency Band was allotted to AFN for its strategic communications and broadband requirements.
General Olonisakin averred that AFN will continue to leverage on digital technologies to provide the needed services for its personnel and their dependants. He stated that Defence Communication (Defcom), E-Mammy Market, Learning Management Systems, and School Management Systems were the services being launched, while 3 other packages under Digital Service Platform will be subsequently launched.
According to the CDS, “Defcom is exclusively for AFN’s operational use, the Learning and School Management Systems will be applied in the 3 services for use in all military schools, while the E-Mammy Market is aimed at linking all AFN Mammy Markets nationwide for use by officers, men and their families, as well as the entire barracks communities.
The CDS reiterated that the AFN is at the forefront of supporting laudable schemes that enhance operational efficiency in tandem with government policies to promote national development.
In his welcome remarks, the Chief of Defence Communication (CDC), Major General Joseph Orokpo recalled that in May 2019, the AFN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Messrs KNL on joint-usage of 700MHz Frequency Band.
The CDC explained that the phase 2 is on the core networks installation and activation while expansion of the core networks nationwide will be the phase 3. He further described other packages of the customized Digital Service Platform to include Telemedicine and Health Information Management System, Asset Tracking and Management System, Smart Home and Office Management System as well as Internet Protocol Television.
Maj Gen Orokpo also disclosed that data base of the Mobile Applications will be domiciled within the AFN. He noted that the Defcom App Platform is exclusively for military operational usage, while the SMS and LMS apps are for both official and un-official uses.
He lauded the efforts of members of the Joint Project Steering Committee, comprising representatives from DHQ, the 3 Arms of the Armed Forces and Messrs KNL, for the successful execution of the first phase of the project.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director (MD) KNL, Mr Gerald Ekesiani expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the NRTP and also for the strategic partnership with the AFN. “Today’s launch would not have been possible without his support and encouragement towards the realization of this strategic programme and partnership.” The MD noted.
Mr Ekesiani revealed that the Steering Committee, among others, was to determine the Terms and Condition of the Joint-Usage of 700MHz (703-713/758-768 MHz) Bandwidth Frequency Slot for deployment of broadband services to strategic agencies of government, emergency and commercial ventures across the country.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Joint Steering Committee, Air Commodore Akanbi Salami said that the AFN was accorded priority in the implementation of the project phases in order to aid its operations, which culminated in the launch of the AFN Digital Service Platform.
The event featured goodwill messages from representatives of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Engineer Bamidele Sakariyau and Professor Yakubu Ochefu, who spoke on behalf of his mother, Mrs Mammy Ochefu, the woman that initiated the Barracks Mammy market, decades back at Enugu.
The CDS’ representative later made operational mobile calls via the Defcom during the event and also purchased items online from the Mammy Market at Mogadishu Cantonment via e-Mammy market mobile application platform.