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Minister cautions against fake news on deployment of destructive technology

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has cautioned Nigerians to desist from the habit of spreading fake news and false narratives about innovative technologies.

The Minister said the primary responsibility of government was to protect lives and property, therefore, scientifically proven destructive technologies would not be deployed in the country.

He gave the advise when he received a delegation from the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, led by the Ambassador, Mr Ketil Karlsen on an official visit.

The EU team was at the Communications and Digital Economy complex, Abuja to share insight with the Minister on 5G technology and its benefits to provide a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.

The meeting was part of strategic dialogue with close partners.

Deployment of 5G
On the deployment of 5G deployment Dr Pantami said, “I have no objection to the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria, but we will work hard to engage with Nigerians to enlighten them on the benefits of the technology and we will also allow experts in the field to come up with their recommendations”.

He said 5G is a fifth generation of mobile technology, which is an improvement of today’s 4G technology with enhanced capabilities.

He explained that 5G technology provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to improve the way we live and work.

Recall that the Nigerian Communications Commission in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for a period of three months and the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.

In view of this, Pantami informed that all stakeholders and also security agencies were carried along during the initial trial of 5G technology carried out in Nigeria.

Similarly, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC,Professor Garba Danbatta had in a statement said that ’the trial among others was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were invited to participate during the trial.’’

He maintained that “the NCC will continue to maintain its policy of technology neutrality and will continue to encourage service providers to deploy the best technology that will meet the needs of the society in a secured and friendly manner.

“NCC has not issued any licence for 5G in Nigeria and therefore, the mobile network operators (MNOs) cannot switch on such technology”

“NCC is technology-neutral. As such, we don’t license technology but assigns spectrum to operators for deployment of any service when allocated by National Frequency Management Council (NFMC).”

Danbatta added that “As the telecoms regulator, we enjoin Nigerians to get accurate information from us rather than relying on information emanating on social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform our people.”

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