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Operators can’t switch on 5G in Nigeria without licence, says NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that no operator can switch on 5G in the country without a licence, insisting that it has not licensed any operator to operate with the technology.

It made the clarification yesterday while reacting to claims that some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) were on the verge of powering 5G in Lagos, and as such, residents should stay indoors on Sunday, Monday and today (Tuesday).

A statement issued by NCC’s spokesman, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, noted that Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, enjoined Lagos residents and all Nigerians not to rely on the social media information, stressing that it was fake.

Danbatta said, “The commission had stated that there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. In November last year, NCC approved trial test of 5G for three months and the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.”

He added that among other things, the trial was meant to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might pose, pointing out that relevant stakeholders and security agencies were invited to participate during the trial.

Danbatta said NCC would continue to maintain its policy of neutrality in the choice of technology and continue to encourage service providers to deploy the best technology that would meet the needs of consumers in a secure and friendly manner.

“The NCC had explained frequently asked questions (FAQs) on 5G in view of recent developments in which misleading materials with no proven evidence are being circulated to link COVID-19 with 5G technology and therefore refutes claims that 5G will be powered in Lagos,” he added.

Speaking, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said Senate’s request that the Federal Government should suspend deployment of 5G in Nigeria was misplaced.

“I think it is more of an information-gathering committee than an investigation committee since 5G has not been implemented. The more facts are made available the better for public knowledge.

“However, we just stress the fact that 5G is a protocol for mobile networks and weather we adopt it or not, the world will move on with new innovation and we might be in a race to catch up if we start late,” he stated.

Meanwhile, an international arbitrator and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Niyi Akintola, has urged Nigeria to exercise restraint in taking loans from China.

He told The Guardian in Ibadan that Chinese loans were taking a toll on Zimbabwe’s economy, leading most of its citizens to become refugees in South Africa.

“Nigeria is the only country where banks declare huge profits every year where shareholders and those managing the banks become emergency billionaires. And nobody is doing anything about it. How do you stimulate the economy if investors are not being encouraged to provide jobs?

“We have the devil called the Chinese. Nigerians are closing their eyes to the doomsday that is fast approaching, as a result of activities of the Chinese in our economy. This calls for utmost caution,” he stressed.


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