By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has emphasised that no company has been given the licence to deploy 5G network in Nigeria at the moment.
Mr Pantami made this clarification following reports on social media that 5G was responsible for the coronavirus pandemic in the world.
A former Minister had urged the federal government not to allow the technology in the country because of its health implications.
Worried at the rate this information was spreading very fast in the country, Mr Pantami, in a statement, stated that no organisation has been authorised to deploy the Fifth Generation Mobile Networks (5G) in Nigeria.
He said based on available records at his office and the earlier report received from the regulator, “The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G.
He further said, “No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country,” adding that, “A 3-month study trial commenced on November 25, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria.”
According to him, “As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial,” noting that, “The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.”
The Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari “places a premium on the welfare, health and security of Nigerians. As such, our desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and welfare of our citizens.”
“Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public.
“I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.
“I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue. We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology,” he concluded.
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