Nigerian Senate has lifted the suspension of 5G deployment in Nigeria about one year after it was ordered.
This Day reported that the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly has approved the deployment of the 5G network in Nigeria, following the outcome of the investigation by a Joint Committee mandated to look into the Status of 5G Network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerian citizens.
The approval was sequel to the consideration and adoption of the report of Joint Committee on Communications, Science and Technology, ICT and Cyber Crimes, and Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, presented by the Chairman, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, at plenary on Wednesday.
In May 2020, following growing safety concerns fueled by conspiracy theories, the Senate has asked the Federal Government to suspend 5G roll out until its safety status is ascertained, and directed its Committee on Communication, Science, Technology and ICT, and that of Health to commence a thorough investigation into the status of 5G in the country.
The Committee, having concluded its investigation, said 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 was 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, the Office of the National Security Adviser, the National Information Technology Development Agency etc, and other telecoms professional organizations 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.
Nigerian Communication Commission had in June last year, issued a statement discrediting the conspiracy theories.
“The deployment of 5G technologies will consequently promote the National Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria that will improve the way Nigerians live and work. 5G has been deployed commercially and in use in some countries. As with the previous technologies, the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRP) has classified radiation from 5G as non-ionizing and therefore safe for human beings,” the Commission had said.
Satisfied with their independent findings, the Upper Chamber urged relevant Government Agencies to embark on preparing the ground by putting the necessary infrastructure and technology in place for its eventual deployment.
Nigerian telecom sector has shown defying growth in the face of COVID-19 pandemic that plummeted other sectors of the economy, including the oil industry. Embracing the 5G network means more opportunity for the telecom industry to thrive in accord with global trends.
The Senate 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.
The Senate decision thus set Nigeria on the path of the $2.2 trillion 5G economy. With her booming population, the African giant has a viable market that needs to be prepared for the 5G opportunities.
The 5G technologies are expected to provide jobs in key sectors such as Manufacturing/utilities and professional/financial services, contributing $2.2 trillion to the global economy between 2024 and 2034.