Senate has called for an indefinite halt on plans to roll out the 5th Generation ( 5G) Network for use in Nigeria because of health concerns.
The Senate has asked the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), and the Mobile Network Operators(MNOs) to tarry awhile in order for them to study the trend of 5G deployment across the world. According to the Senate, given the infancy of the technology, it was important for Nigeria as a country to pay more attention to ‘testing and researching Potential health risk that may arise from the deployment of 5G network”.
The Senate has however called on other relevant agencies to put in place, necessary infrastructure and technology for the smooth deployment of 5G Network in the country, just as it advised them to embark on massive public enlightenment campaign before rolling out the 5G technology in the country. The decision of the Upper Chamber was sequel to the consideration of the report of its Joint Committee on Communications, Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber Crime , and Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, on the investigation of the status of 5G Network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerian citizens.
Recall that the Senate had on the 5th of May, 2020 following a motion by Senator Uche Ekwunife, PDP, Anambra Central mandated the Joint Committee to conduct investigation into ” the Status of 5G network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerian citizens”. Consequently, the Upper Chamber began a probe into the present status of 5th Generation ( 5G) Network in Nigeria, and mandated its Committees on Communications, Health, Science and Technology and ICT and Cyber Crimes to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the status of G5 Network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerians and report back at Plenary in four weeks. According to the Senate, it became very imperative to carry out the holistic investigation into the matter because of the growing concerns on the ongoing discussions about the current status of the 5th Generation( 5G) Network in Nigeria, especially with regard to whether or not Nigeria is currently connected to the 5G Network.
The Committees, with Communications Committee, with Senator Oluremi Tinubu, as the lead, should report back in four weeks. The Committee on Health( Secondary and Tertiary) is chaired by Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Science and Technology Committee has Senator Uche Ekwunife, as Chairman, while ICT and Cyber crime is chaired by Senator Useni Yakubu. Though during the consideration of the report yesterday, the Senate could not establish any evidence linking 5G technology to Covid-19, but it went ahead to asked the MNOs to halt their plans to deployment 5G network in the next six months to conduct scientific research to confirm whether or not there is any connection between 5G network and public health. Rumours across the world including Nigeria had linked Covid-19 to 5G technology, prompting the Senate to embark on a thorough investigation that took the Committee one year to conclude.
The report said, “Also concerning the interaction between Covid-19 and 5G network technologies, the Joint Committee confirms and is convinced that there is no connection between them. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is caused by biological agwnt-virus- which is scientifically unconnected with the 5G technology. While the Joint Committee clarifies that there is no 5G deployment in Nigeria at the moment and that no licence has been issued to any Mobile Number Operator on commercial basis, it is our recommendation that Nigeria should still observe the trend of 5G deployments around the globe and engage in extensive sensitisation of the public through all channels before commencement of commercial deployments in the country.”