FEC Approves National Policy on 5G
By Adedapo Adesanya
**As Pantami Clarifies Telecommunication Situation in Zamfara
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the national policy on the fifth-generation (5G) network in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, in Abuja after the weekly FEC meeting held on Wednesday.
He explained that the benefits that accrue from employing such networks include larger capacity, higher data rates, among other economic, health, security and educational opportunities.
According to the Minister, the radiation from the 5G has proven to be lower than the 4G, televisions or microwaves, contrary to stories peddled on social media.
There have been concerns about the deployment of the 5G communications network, especially over its purported linkage with the COVID-19 outbreak.
On May 19, the Senate 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.
The government came up with the national policy on 5G to engage stakeholders on the pros and cons of the network and work out ways on the safe adoption in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Pantami has commented on the security situation in the North-West and the effect on telecommunications in the North-Western region of the country.
He clarified that telecommunications shut down in Zamfara State did emanate from him but was at the request of security institutions to enhance their strategies.
Mr Pantami indicated that the government was willing to take any action, including compromising economic benefits to render full support towards the security of the country.
Although he didn’t clarify if the same measure would extend to other states affected by banditry, he pleaded for greater support towards the security agencies to deliver on their mandate.
It will be recalled that mobile telephone networks were shut down in Zamfara State after authorities ordered a telecommunications blackout to aid the armed forces to tackle banditry in the area.