The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the National Policy on the Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s digital economy.
The FEC gave the 5G Policy approval, following a presentation by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, during the Council’s weekly virtual meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The approval signifies the immediate commencement of the implementation of the 5G network policy across the country by telecommunication companies.
According to Pantami, the just approved 5G network would open up several opportunities in the economic, educational, and health sectors.
He said, “I presented a memo before the Federal Executive Council and was approved after deliberation, which is the National Policy on 5th Generation network for Nigeria’s digital economy. That policy was approved by the Federal Executive Council today.
“Furthermore, the policy discusses the benefits to be attained through the deployment of 5G in Nigeria and any part of the world which includes lower latency, larger capacity and higher data rate.
“In a simple language, we can say it will open many opportunities economically, educationally and even in the health sector and it will also support our security institutions particularly in areas where they need high-quality services.”
Mr Pantami also noted that the network would have been approved for use since the year 2020 but had to be delayed due to the outcry from some Nigerians about the interaction between the Covid-19 virus and the 5G network.
“In the year 2020 there was a time that we started the 5th Generation trial but there were complaints from citizens about the relationship between 5G and Covid-19. But because our government is a responsible one, we decided then, to put everything on hold and engage more stakeholders and we spent almost 18 months working on that.
“We also waited for the resolution or verdict of the two most important organizations globally when it comes to the deployment of telecommunications facilities.
These are the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which are both arms of the United Nations. The two agencies confirmed that there is no adverse health hazard associated with 5G, and it has not been proven to be harmful to human health,” he said.
He also added 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.”
Pantami mentioned that the deployment of the network would be in phases, as it will start with major cities of the country, where there is a need for high-quality broadband, between now and 2025.