Senate has approved the deployment of the 5G network in Nigeria, following the outcome of investigations by a Joint Committee mandated to carry out same.
The approval, on Wednesday, followed the consideration of the report of the Joint Committee on Communications, Science and Technology, ICT and Cyber Crimes, and Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, laid and presented by its chairman, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos Central), during plenary.
The upper legislative chamber during consideration of the report, adopted the joint committee’s recommendations which were outcomes of investigation into the Status of 5G Network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerian citizens.
It, however, posited that the technological impact of 5G will revolutionize Nigerians’ way of life from education to agriculture, security to entertainment, and governance in general if the technology is deployed.
It explained that its decision to recommend the deployment of the 5G technology was based on information provided by government establishments such as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The rest are the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA etc, and other telecoms professional organisations such as the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, ALTON and the Global System of Mobile Communications Association.
It, however, added that though no license has been issued to any Mobile Number Operator on commercial basis, Nigeria should still observe the trend of 5G deployments around the globe and engage in extensive sensitization of the public through all channels before commencement of commercial deployments in the country.
Accordingly, the Red Chamber urged relevant government agencies to embark on preparing the ground by putting the necessary infrastructure and technology in place for its eventual deployment.
It emphasized that, “this period of ground preparation is expected to be utilized to complete feasibility studies for the various broadband projects in order to ascertain actual cost implications for their implementation, complete sustainability plans, provide enabling environment including free Right of Way (ROW); tax waivers, sustainable power supply, improve security of men, materials and equipment, eliminate multiple regulations and charges, recognize telecommunications infrastructure as public utility infrastructure; and engender public trust and confidence.”
The Senate further called on the federal government to ensure that global standards for the deployment of 5G technology are strictly adhered to, while looking out for lessons learnt by countries that have already deployed in order to guide our own deployment.
“Lessons from South Korea, the first country with substantial deployment would be instructive in this regard.
“It is imperative that intense safety standards and precaution, based on available evidence, are put in place for wireless radiation system ahead of wide scale implementation,” the upper legislative chamber advised.
It added that given the infancy of the technology across the globe and claims and counter claims surrounding the probability of health injury posed to public health by the level of exposure to radio frequency, further attention should be given to testing and researching potential health risk that may arise from the deployment of 5G network Nigeria, considering real life situation rather than just laboratory conditions.
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