By Chesa Chesa
Nigeria will soon deploy the fifth generation (5G) mobile telecommunications network in Nigeria for improved connectivity, says the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
He made disclosure in Abuja during a special interview session with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The Minister said that the decision to deploy the 5G network followed an outcome of thorough investigations, research and trials that absolved it of posing any security or health threat.
There have been concerns that COVID-19 pandemic was caused by the deployment of the 5G communications network in some parts of the world.
The Minister said that the primary concern of government was to ensure security and welfare of Nigerians in their utilisation of services in the telecommunications sector, and blamed the delay in the deployment of the 5G network on such conspiracy theories.
According to Pantami, 95 percent work has been done on the national policy on 5G and a report will be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) soon.
“Our government is a listening one; so we listen to constructive criticisms, respect it and appreciate it and at least we value it.
“We had 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.
“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,” Pantami said. (NAN)