By David Agabi
Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, on Saturday refuted claims that Nigeria has been issued licence for Fifth Generation Mobile Networks otherwise known as 5G.
Pantami made the remark while reacting to insinuations that the 5G network was responsible for the outbreak of Coronavirus.
However, there have been rumours on social media that the 5G network was harmful to human health, adding that its emission was partly responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic globally.
Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that Nigeria only carried out a study and a review of the health and security implications of deploying 5G in the country.
The Minister in a statement assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari will not deploy any technology at the expense of the health and welfare of Nigerians.
The statement in part reads: “The attention of my office has been drawn to the public concern about the health implications of the deployment of Fifth Generation Mobile Networks (5G) in Nigeria. Based on available records at my office and the earlier report received from the regulator, I would like to clarify as follows:
“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.
“No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country.
“A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria.
“As part of the study’s 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. The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing”.
“The President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, 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 make 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 the government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.”
It would be recalled that some Nigerians took to social media lambasting the Federal Government and other governments of the world to have inflicted the globe with COVID-19 via launching of 5G network.