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Pantami to present draft national policy on 5G network to FEC

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The Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy has stated its plans to present a draft national policy on the Five Generation network (5G) at the Federal Executive Council for consideration.

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami said this at an investigative hearing on the status and impact of the 5G network in Nigeria on Thursday, February 25, in Abuja.

The public hearing was organised by the Senate Joint Committees on Communication, Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber-Crime, and Primary Health Care.

Pantami said the presentation of the draft policy would be done at the end of research on the 5G network.

“We have not gotten there, whether we will deploy 5G, but we are on track conducting research, investigations, engaging stakeholders and definitely if all issues are addressed, the executive will support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.

“We are not operating in circles, Nigerian telecommunication sector is part and parcel of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) where issues of telecommunication technology and its impacts are been discussed.

”At the international level, we are in the process of compiling our final position.

“And most of our position will be part of the draft national policy which will be presented at the Federal Executive Council. (FEC),” he said.

He said the primary concern of the government was to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians, even in their activities in the telecommunication sector.

Read also: Senate summons Pantami over worsening insecurity in Nigeria

He said the trial on the impact of 5G in Nigeria was approved by the Federal Government in some selected cities like Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Ibadan, Abeokuta, and Calabar.

“On Sept. 25, 2019, we conducted the first trial on 5G in Nigeria in order to demonstrate trust and prove leadership by example.

“I personally pledged to make a trial so if there is any security implication or medical implication, then I would be number one victim.

“And if there is any relationship with COVID-19, I will be the first victim and to date, I have not contracted the virus.

“The position is that we are almost at the final stage. So now, Nigeria is ready for 5G as long as we address the major challenges,” he said.

Pantami added: “The only issue being raised is about radiation, but people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G.

“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G.

“The radiation of even the smartphone itself is even more harmful than that of 5G.”

President of Senate, Ahmed Lawan, while declaring the event open said that the investigative hearing was crucial given the controversy surrounding the 5G network.

“We all remember the surrounding disagreements, following the outbreak of the COVID-19.

“It was one controversy that needed clarifications, not just from the government or the public sector, but from the private sector,” he said.

He said there were concerns that COVID-19 was associated with the deployment of the 5G communication network.

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