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Nigeria approves 5-G network policy

Joseph Oyekanmi

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Minister mandates NCC to accelerate 5G policy implementation

The Federal Executive Council of Nigeria has approved the policy on the deployment of the 5th generation network popularly called 5-G.

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the end of this week’s cabinet meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Pantami said the new network would help open up opportunities in the economic, educational and health sectors, adding that security agencies also stands to benefit a lot from it.

He said: “Mine is a memo I presented before the Federal Executive Council and was approved after deliberation, that is the National policy on 5th generation network for Nigeria’s digital economy. That policy has been approved by the Federal Executive Council today.

“Furthermore, the policy discusses the benefits to be attained through the deployment of 5-G in Nigeria and any part of the world which includes lower latency, larger capacity and higher data rate. In a simple language, we can say it will open many opportunities economically, educationally and even in the health sector and it will also support our security institutions particularly in areas where they need high-quality services.”

The Minister noted that the network would have been deployed since last year but there was a lot of outcry from the Nigerian public, which made the government stay action on that to give room for more consultations.

“In the year 2020 there was a time that we started the 5th generation trial but there were complaints from citizens about the relationship between 5-G and COVID-!9. But because our government is a responsible one, we decided then, to put everything on hold and engage more stakeholders and we spent almost 18 months working on that.

“We also waited for the resolution or verdict of the two most important organizations globally when it comes to the deployment of telecommunications facilities. These are the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which are both arms of the United Nations.

“Both of them confirmed that there is no any adverse health hazard associated with 5-G and it has not been proven to be harmful to human health; most importantly, even its frequency and radiation is even lower than that of 4-G and the electronic gadgets like the television sets and microwaves we use at home. So they have already issued that explanation about its safety. They also advised nations on the standards and regulations they use in the course of its redeployment,” Pantami added.

Global Standards

He said the Nigerian Communications Commission has been directed to comply with all the regulations and standards specified by the ITU and WHO.

“Furthermore, in order to create awareness and sensitize our citizens, the Nigerian Communications Commission has been reaching out to citizens through local languages to tell them the advantages of 5-G,” he said.

He said the deployment of the network would be in phases, as it will start with major cities of the country, where there is a need for high-quality broadband, between now and 2025.

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