Nigeria’s Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has stated categorically that no license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country, adding that the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which he is the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.
The Minister’s confirmation, which was contained in a press release signed personally by him, further stated that though a 3-month study trial to critically study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing, the desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and welfare of Nigerians.
This clarification is coming against the backdrop of recent conspiracy theories linking the deployment of 5G Internet frequency with recent global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and it’s attendant Covid-19 disease, which has so far affected over 1million people and claimed over 61, 000 lives worldwide.
Clearing the air on the position of Nigeria on the matter, the Minister’s statement, which was released on April 4th, 2020, is published in full below.
NO LICENCE HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR 5G IN NIGERIA
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:
i. 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;
ii. No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country;
iii. A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria;
iiii. As part of the study 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; and
v. The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.
His Excellency, 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 take 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 government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.
*Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM*
*Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy*
*4th of April 2020*