*Gives NCC, MNOs, NCDC others 6 months to review operations
By Ignatius Okorocha
The Senate on Wednesday at its plenary suspended plans to rollout 5G Network technology operation in Nigeria and directed the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), and the Mobile Network Operators(MNOs) to tarry awhile to study the trend of 5G deployment across the world.
The resolution was reached by the upper chamber when it considered and passed the report of its Joint Committee on Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber Crime, and Primary Health headed by chairman Senate Committee on Communication, Senator Oluremi Tinubu(Lagos Central).
The Senate had on the 5th of May, 2020 following a motion by Senator Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Anambra Central) mandated the Joint Committee to conduct investigation into ” the Status of 5G network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerian citizens”.
Even though the upper legislative chamber could not establish any evidence linking 5G technology to Covid-19; it went ahead to
asked the MNOs to halt their plans to deployment 5G network in the next six months to conduct scientific research to confirm whether or not there is any connection between 5G network and public health.
According to recommendations from the report,”Also concerning the interaction between Covid-19 and 5G network technologies, the Joint Committee confirms and is convinced that there is no connection between them. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is caused by biological agwnt-virus- which is scientifically unconnected with the 5G technology”.
Recall that rumours across the world including Nigeria had linked Covid-19 to 5G technology, prompting the Senate to embark on a thorough investigation that took the Committee one year to conclude.
The Senate further advised them to embark on massive public enlightenment campaign before rolling out the 5G technology in the country.
” While the Joint Committee clarifies that there is no 5G deployment in Nigeria at the moment and that no license has been issued to any Mobile Number Operator on commercial basis, it is our recommendation that Nigeria should still observe the trend of 5G deployments around the globe and engage in extensive sensitization of the public through all channels before commencement of commercial deployments in the country”.
The Senate said given the infancy of the technology, it was important Nigeria paid more attention to ‘testing and researching Potential health risk that may arise from the deployment of 5G network”.
It called on other relevant agencies to put in place necessary infrastructure and technology for the smooth deployment of 5G Network in the country.