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5G: Communications Minister, Pantami, allays fears, says technology not harmful

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, Friday said there is no known scientific evidence to suggest that the Fifth Generation (5G) technology is harmful and poses risks to public health and safety.

He dismissed fears about the deployment of the technology in Nigeria, asserting that government would do everything possible to address the safety concerns being raised in some quarters on the matter.

A statement emanating from the Public Affairs Department of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, noted that the Minister’s position was contained in his address to an investigative public hearing by the Senate Joint Committee on Communications; Science and Technology; Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Cyber Crimes.

The Committee also had Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases as members.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta; Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi and the Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellites Limited (NigComSat), Dr. Abimbola Alale, also attended the hearing which was Chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

Pantami supported his assertion with findings from independent scientific reports published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), insisting “that there are no health risks to human lives associated with the deployment of 5G.”

The Minister said after the initial approval by the President which led to the commencement, in 2019 of 5G trial in selected locations in the country and subsequent intervention of the National Assembly in 2020, seeking clarifications on probable health risks of 5G deployment, the Ministry had so far undertaken wide-ranging stakeholder consultations to ascertain the safety of 5G networks.

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