The Federal Government has revealed that it will soon deploy the 5th generation network (5G) in Nigeria.
This follows the outcome of thorough investigations, research and trial absolving it of posing security or health threats.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, in Abuja while featuring on a special interview programme, FORUM.
Pantami said that the work on the national policy on 5G stands presently at 95% completion stage and will be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in due course.
What the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy is saying
Pantami, said that the primary concern of government was to ensure security and welfare of Nigerians in their utilisation of services in the telecommunications sector, adding that the delay in the deployment of the 5G network was due to some conspiracy theories.
The minister said, “Our government is a listening one; so we listen to constructive criticisms, respect it and appreciate it and at least we value it. We’d reached advanced stage of 5G, then, an issue came up that 5G was related to COVID-19; many people including the educated ones started circulating it without verification.
“Naturally, people are a bit scared and sceptical about technology. So we gave enough time to do more consultation, creating awareness in local languages so as to engage our citizens to address all the challenges.
“We set up a technical team that accommodated security, health and environmental institutions and the public sector so that we can be on the same page. I want to give you the assurance that 5G communication network is in the pipeline.”
Pantami said that the ministry had started discussions with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) concerning spectrum for commercial purposes.
He said, “From that spectrum, NCC will give it to mobile operators to start deployment; so, the policy is almost ready. I went to the National Assembly, I defended our presentation and they have accepted and they have also endorsed the deployment of 5G.
“They have also encouraged us to learn from other countries that have deployed 5G and we have already done that. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a statement that there is no relationship between 5G network and COVID-19 and that addresses the health issue.
“Similarly, the International Communications Union (ICU), which is an arm of the UN, also issued another statement debunking any implications from the 5G.”
What you should know
Several concerns have been raised over the deployment of the 5G communications network especially its alleged association with the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Nigerian Senate had on May 19, 2021, asked the federal government to suspend plans to deploy the 5G network pending a six-month investigation into possible health risks associated with the technology.
In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, and is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones.
It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks and enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.