Ali Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy said the ministry has not issued licence for the deployment of 5G technology to any telecommunication operator in Nigeria.
The minister said the clarification needed to be made given public concerns about the health implications of the technology. According to him, a three-month trial was commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria.
“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,” Pantami said.
The trial has since been concluded while the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.
A video of a mob pulling down a 5G cell poll and othervisual reportsalleging the devastating effect of 5G technology on the environment were the major talking points of many Nigerians on Twitter on Saturday. Many commentators also alleged a connection between the technology and the coronavirus pandemic.
“Those claiming5GinNigeriais hazardous to human health have a point,” Tosin Olugbenga, software, and data engineer tweeted. “Though it might not be the cause of#COVID19, It’s not everything we should believe outrightly without questioning the claims from both ends.”
The Minister assured that the government will not act on speculations alone but rather will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultations with experts and the public.
MTN, the largest telecommunications network in Africa, in collaboration with Huawei is leading the campaign for the deployment of a 5G network in Nigeria and Africa.