The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, says he is not aware of any research by international body linking 5G network with COVID-19.
Pantami said this during an appearance on Channels Television’s News At 10 on Sunday, amid a controversy over the safety of the network and theories linking it with the coronavirus pandemic.
Asked about the speculations about the network and its safety, the minister dismissed them saying that the government does not take decisions based on online speculations.
“Firstly, it is not what is said online that government will work with. We are always taking decisions based on the opinions of experts, based on research,” he said.
Explaining further, the minister said the major global bodies involved in health matters and the global telecom industries have not found any link between 5G network and coronavirus.
He said, “When it comes to health, we have (the) World Health Organisation and many health bodies.
“I just want you to bring out any research which they have conducted and (in which they) made their position about 5G’s relationship with COVID-19. I am yet to see anyone from the World Health Organisation.”
“This is a body that accommodates our experts in health globally. We have ITU, the International Telecommunication Union.
“I just challenge you to let me know one expert or ITU as a body or any other professional body that conducted research and also made it public that this is the position,” the minister stressed.
He, however, revealed that a trial was conducted in November 2019 after it was stalled for about two months.
Pantami explained that the exercise could not go in September because they needed to accommodate all necessary stakeholders.
He said he personally took the trial while stakeholders were invited and were given the challenge to review the trial and come up with recommendations.
According to the minister, the government is expecting the recommendations from the stakeholders before deciding whether or not to deploy the 5G network.
He noted that Uganda and Kenya were waiting to deploy the network but the Nigerian government was very much concerned about the safety of the lives and properties of its citizens.
“There is no approval for any operator to deploy 5G; this decision will be taken after research and we are taking our time. Many countries deployed 5g – the US, UK, Germany, South Korea, India, and many more.
“We are not in any way rushing; we are more interested in doing an extensive investigation so that we will be able to come out with something tangible,” said Pantami
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