‘5G would not be approved until recommended by experts’
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ibrahim Pantami, has said the report on the initial trial of the 5G technology in Nigeria would not be concluded until recommendations from stakeholders in key sectors are reviewed.
He noted that experts from health, telecom, finance, defence, media, information and communications technology (ICT), engineering, and other sectors would review the report to determine its safety before the government can issue the licence for its deployment.
Pantami said this at a virtual yearly general meeting (AGM) and induction of new members by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), themed: “Adoption of 5G in Nigeria: The Technological and Regulatory Challenges.”
He explained that the overall safety and health of citizens has been prioritised over the technology, saying that if experts approved, it would be deployed.“We intend to make sure it is a collective decision to deploy or not to, and it would be based on evidence. Whether we are comfortable with it or not, it is our responsibility to create awareness and its approval would depend on the evaluation, assessment, critical trial and also experience of other nations,” he said.
Pantami noted that ICT is an important profession, as it is a key enabler of every sector, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified that.Chairman, Registration, Regulation and Control Committee, CPN, Prof Adesina Sodiya, emphasised the need to regulate the practice of information technology (IT) in Nigeria, given the vital role IT professionals occupy.
“It is evil to engage in computing and professional practice without satisfying the condition of registration with CPN,” he added. He therefore called on the new inductees to use the opportunities provided to them from the platform to their benefit, and contribute towards growing the profession.
Senior Manager, MTN Nigeria, Uche Osuji, said there should be set guidelines and rules for the adoption of the technology. He listed infrastructure, cost and availability of devices, global politics, and lack of awareness, among others as challenges facing the deployment of the 5G technology in Nigeria.
“There are a lot of conspiracy theories obtainable, and it is important to know the health implications. This would promote knowledge and reduce resistance that may arise due to limited information,” he said.
He added that the deployment of the 5G network will revolutionise Nigeria’s economy.Earlier, President, Chairman-in-Council, Prof. Charles Uwadia, assured that the 5G technology is safe and very viable to transform the economy, adding that there are no adverse health implications with the technology.
Uwadia stressed the need for the 5G, noting that ICT in Nigeria contributes more to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than the oil and gas industry.As a result, he said the adoption of the 5G, which has been touted as the next frontier of investment, has the potential to drive economic growth and social inclusion.
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