NITDA Harps on the Need for a Vibrant Startup Ecosystem

NITDA Harps on the Need for a Vibrant Startup Ecosystem
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The Senate on Wednesday urged the federal government to halt the deployment of 5th generation (5G) network in Nigeria for now.

This is coming as countries around the world including Africa are racing to roll out 5G networks touted as the next big thing and expected to better cope with the explosion of global data traffic predicted in the coming years.

But in Nigeria like some parts of the world, conspiracy theorists have raised many concerns among people; some have even linked 5G to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The false news concerning 5G spread at lightning speed on social networks, relayed by influencers and celebrities and reinforcing the fears of people who were already suspicious of 5G’s potential health effects.

On these heels, the Senate urged the federal government to halt the deployment of the network in the country.

This followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the joint Senate Committee on Communications, Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber Crime and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases on the “Status of 5G network in Nigeria and its impact on Nigerian citizens.”

The committee recommended that Nigeria should still observe the trend of 5G deployment around the globe and engage in extensive sensitization of the public through all channels before the commencement of commercial deployments in the country, according to Daily Trust.

The committee urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in collaboration with the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Federal Ministry of Environment, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) among others to locally conduct a scientific experimental study over a period of about six months to ascertain if a correlation exists between 5G networks and public health.

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Senator Oluremi Tinubu, chairman of the joint committee, while presenting the report, said the overwhelming aggregate opinions from majority of stakeholders was that it is appropriate for Nigeria to join the comity of nations that are engaged in the deployments of 5G for all its inherent gains.

She said the joint panel was convinced that having witnessed what has been achieved by its “lesser ancestors” such as 3G and 4G, the technological impact of 5G will be such that will revolutionize Nigerians’ way of life from education to agriculture, security to entertainment, and governance in general if the technology is deployed.

The committee clarified that there was no 5G deployment in Nigeria at the moment and that no license had been issued to any Mobile Number Operator on commercial basis.

It urged the relevant government agencies to prepare the ground by putting the necessary infrastructure and technology in place for its eventual deployment.

“This period of ground preparation is expected to be utilized to complete feasibility studies for the various broadband projects in order to ascertain actual cost implications for their implementation, complete sustainability plans, provide enabling environment including free-Right of Way (RoW); tax waivers, sustainable power supply, improve security of men, materials and equipment, eliminate multiple regulations and charges, recognize telecommunications infrastructure as public utility infrastructure; and engender public trust and confidence,” Tinubu said.

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