The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami says the fifth-generation (5G) network is not harmful, allaying fears in many quarters that its deployment could pose a risk to public health.
Pantami spoke after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Wednesday where he also said the National Policy on fifth-generation (5G) network in Nigeria was approved.
According to him, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have confirmed the network is not harmful to people’s health.
“Both of them confirm that there are no any adverse health effects of 5G and it has not been proven to be any harmful to our health,” the Minister said.
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“Most importantly, even its frequency and radiation is even lower than that of 4G, and it is lower than the televisions and microwave we have at home. So, they have already issued that. They explained about its safety, and also advised nations on the regulations and the standards to be used in the course of the deployment.
“And this is something that the Nigerian Communications Commission has been directed to ensure that all standards, and regulations are complied with. And furthermore, you will all recall that in order to create awareness and sensitise our citizens, the Nigerian Communications Commission has been reaching out to citizens through local languages to tell them the advantages of 5G and where we need it.”
The Minister revealed that the policy was approved after he presented a memo during the FEC meeting, explaining that the deployment of the network will immensely benefit Nigerians.
Pantami said that the benefits that accrue from using the 5G network include larger capacity, higher data rates among other economic, health, security and educational opportunities.
“That policy has been approved by the Federal Executive Council today. Furthermore, the policy discusses the benefits to be attained through the deployment of 5G in Nigeria and in any part of the world which includes lower latency, larger capacity, and higher data rate,” he added.
“These are the three major benefits of the fifth generation. And in a simple language, we can say it will open many opportunities economically, academically, educationally, and even in the health sector. And it will also support our security institutions, particularly in areas where they need high-quality services.”
Pantami’s comment comes amid concerns over the deployment of the 5G network, especially its purported linkage with the COVID-19 outbreak.
On May 19, the Senate had asked the Federal Government to suspend plans to deploy it pending a six-month investigation into possible health risks associated with the technology.
In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks.