Amidst a growing global concern on its safety, the Nigerian government on Saturday denied it had approved the deployment of the fifth generation mobile network (5G) in the country.
In a statement signed by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on Saturday, the federal government said the decision was part of efforts to protect the lives of Nigerians.
He said the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), is yet to deliberate on the deployment of the network.
A conspiracy theory caught social media frenzy this week and has been linked to at least two suspected arson attacks in the United Kingdom.
The unfounded claim, which has been repeatedly debunked by mainstream scientists and fact-checkers, linked coronavirus to 5G broadband technology without any scientific evidence.
There have been speculations that one of the reasons for the lockdown by the government is in its bid to deploy the 5G network without hindrance.
But the minister said no license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country.
Read the full statement below
The attention of my office has been drawn to the public concern about the health implications of the deployment of Fifth Generation Mobile Networks (5G) in Nigeria.Based on available records at my office and the earlier report received from the regulator, I would like to clarify as follows:
The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G.
No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country;
A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria;
As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial;
The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.
His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, places a premium on the welfare, health and security of Nigerians. As such, our desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and welfare of our citizens.
Government will not act on speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public.
I have also directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.
I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue. We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.