.Technological advancement will not be at the expense of citizens-Pantami
The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has dismissed the theory that links the 5G network to coronavirus, describing it as a web of lies with no particle of truth.
In a statement signed by its President, Olusola Teniola, the umbrella body for all telecommunications companies says the claim is not substantiated by any empirical evidence by the World Health Organisation (WHO) or any notable health body.
ATCON stated, “We wish to draw the attention of Nigerians to the unfounded claims and misinformation that is trending on all social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn and a host of others, which suggest that Fifth Generation (5G) technology is a causative factor of coronavirus pandemic also known as COVID-19.”
ATCON further added, “ATCON wishes to inform telecom consumers, other stakeholders and the entire Nigerians, without any equivocation, that the purported claims that 5G is responsible for COVID-19 is baseless and it should be discountenanced by Nigerians as what it is (false information).
“The claims have not been substantiated, by any conclusive empirical evidence, by either the World Health Organisation or other health research institutions.
“There has been no issuance of 5G licence to any of our members to build and deploy 5G network in Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). However, what has happened recently was just a trial of the 5G network by one of our members which was well supervised by the telecoms regulator.
“Currently, Nigeria’s networks are currently made up of 2G, 3G and 4G and in 2014, the World Health Organisation had stated clearly that there is not yet any conclusive scientific evidence to the effect that there are adverse health effects caused by telecommunications infrastructures to human with respect to exposure to the non-ionising radiation-emitting by telecoms base stations.
“ATCON, as the umbrella association of all telecommunication companies in Nigeria would like to state unequivocally that it would not be part of the deployment of any technology in the country, that would put the health of any Nigerian at risk, as we believe the health of end-users of any technological advancement comes as a priority in the deployment-consideration of such technology by our members to provide services to Nigerians.”
In a related development, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, says the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G.
Pantami noted that a three-month study trial had commenced on the 25th of November 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria, adding that he had directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process.
He further stated that Nigeria’s desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and the welfare of her citizens.
According to him, the government will not act on the speculations only but take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public.