Senate asks FG, NCC to halt deployment of 5G network

The Senate on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Communication and the National Communication Commission ( NCC), to stay action on any form of installation of the 5th Generation (5G) Network in the country.

The resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator representing Anambra Central, Lillian Ekwunife, titled "The Present Status of 5th Generation Network in Nigeria."

It would be recalled that the Minister of Communications, Isah Pantami, allayed Nigerians fears to the effect that no license has been granted for the operation of the 5G network in the country.

Senator Ekwunife, however, expressed concern over "the uncertainty on whether or not the 5G network has been launched in Nigeria will continue to fuel speculations and rumour concerning the deployment of the 5G network and its effects on citizens of Nigeria."

She maintained that it has become a source of concern that the deployment of the network in urban areas would lead to the instalment of "a strong radiating mobile communications antenna approximately every 100 meters, producing a radiation tsunami and taking up to a 1000 fold increase in the transmission power."

She told her colleagues in the Senate that "several countries including Switzerland, one of the world leaders in the roll-out of the 5G mobile technology, has placed an indefinite and indefinite moratorium on the use of 5G network because of its health hazards."

Ekwunife further urged the Senate to note the concerns by some scientists and medical experts "that the emissions from the 5G towers could adversely affect the health of citizens by causing symptoms like damage to the eye, antibiotics resistance, as well as other physiological effects on the nervous system and the immune system."

She expressed her desire to investigate the true status of the 5G network in the country with a view to ensuring that Nigerian citizens are not exposed to an unreasonable risk of great bodily injury.

Meanwhile, Senator representing Ekiti Central, Opeyemi Bamidele said neither the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy nor the NCC, could tell Nigerians any scientific step that has been taken so far regarding the status of the network.

"This motion is very timely and sensitive. Its prayer for investigation of the status of 5G network is in order because experts must be engaged to ascertain its environmental and health harmlessness or otherwise, to Nigerians.

"The very reason the Ministry of Communication and NCC, should not rush into its implementation at all."

Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, said the motion was self-explanatory and straightforward "which requires no further debate but for the prayer to be adopted."

The Senate, therefore, mandated its committees on Communications, Science and Technology, ICT and Cybercrimes as well as Health, to carry out an investigation on the status of the 5G network and report back within four weeks.

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