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West Africa

Senate urges suspension of 5G network deployment in Nigeria

The Senate has asked the Federal Government to suspend the planned deployment of the fifth-generation (5G) network in Nigeria pending the resolution of all issues thrown up by the new technology.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Senator Uche Ekwenife (PDP, Anambra Central) at plenary yesterday in Abuja, the upper legislative chamber mandated four of its standing committees, Communications; Science and Technology; ICT, and Cybercrimes, to wholly investigation the newest advancement.

In her debate, Ekwunife drew attention to the fact that “the uncertainty on whether or not the 5G network has been launched in Nigeria will continue to fuel speculations concerning the deployment of the 5G network and its effects on the citizens of Nigeria.”

She said it had become a source of concern that the deployment of the network in urban areas would lead to the installation of “a strong radiating mobile communications antenna approximately every 100 metres, producing a radiation tsunami and taking up to a 1000 fold increase in the transmission power.”

The Anambra lawmaker informed the red chamber that “several countries, including Switzerland, one of the world’s leaders in the roll-out of the 5G mobile technology, have placed an indefinite moratorium on the use of 5G network because of its health hazards.”

She further implored the Senate to note the concerns by some scientists and medical experts “that the emissions from 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 and immune systems.

The panels, led by the Communications Committee, are to report back in four weeks.

Others, who contributed to the matter, stressed that the recent statement by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, to the effect, that no licence had been granted for the operation of the 5G network in the country, be treated seriously.

Also yesterday, the hallowed chamber canvassed the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force and community policing to address the nation’s pervasive insecurity.

The resolution was a sequel to the consideration and approval of the recommendations of the Senator Yahaya Abdullahi-chaired Ad hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges during plenary.

The Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, in a statement, said the chamber urged the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police to “decentralise the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers vested in the zonal commands.”

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