The Senate has directed the immediate suspension of the proposed rollout of 5G network technology in Nigeria till further notice, citing safety concerns.
The Senate disclosed that it had not yet found empirical evidence linking 5G with the COVID-19 pandemic or other health implications; as had once been widely insinuated in Nigeria, but however recommended a six-month suspension of its deployment; adding that this would enable it to ascertain the existence of any links between the cutting-edge technology and public health.
The Senate further directed the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); as well as (MNOs) to suspend the planned deployment of the technology for the moment.
This development followed a report; by the Senate Joint Committee on Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber Crime, and Primary Health.
The Committee, chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, was mandated to investigate the status of 5G deployment in Nigeria; as well as its impact on citizens.
The Committee suggested that Nigeria should take some time to observe the trend of 5G rollout across the world and also recommended a mass sensitisation campaign of citizens before commercial deployment of 5G in Nigeria.
Senator Tinubu, in her report, admitted the potentially life-changing capacity of 5G. However, a period of six months was also suggested within which the potential health implications of 5G deployment can be ascertained.
“The committee clarified that there was no 5G deployment in Nigeria at the moment and that no license has been issued to any Mobile Number Operator on commercial basis. It urged the relevant government agencies to prepare the ground by putting the necessary infrastructure and technology in place for its eventual deployment.
“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,’’ said the report.