By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Those who think that President Muhammadu Buhari, will give Isa Ali Pantami, the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the go ahead to allow the telecommunications Companies operating in the country to deploy the 5G Network into the Nigeria economy would have to do a rethink. This is because the government is not in a hurry to do so.
Pantami, may have spoken the mind of the Katsina born Nigerian President when he appeared on Channels Television recently. “We are taking our time”, he had said. He insists that the country is not in a rush to join the Industrialised nations of the North American country of the United States, United Kingdom, UK,Germany, South Korea, and India the Asian country of China and several other countries which had started using the network.
Given the criticisms against the 5G in different quarters, the government had embarked on an extensive Investigation to ensure that it does not have any negative impact on lives and properties before deciding whether to join the other countries currently using the network in their system.
The minister had given his word that as soon turn in their report which would be studied and a white paper issued on it showing that it has no health implication, the government would not hesitate to deploy the network into the economy, described as the fastest in the world telecom circles.
There had been rumour making the rounds that the development of the network and its deployment in these developed economies had resulted in the emergence of the Coronavirus disease in Wuhan town of China, which had become pandemic, as over one million people in 203 countries across the world that had contacted it while no fewer than 67 ,000 of the victims had died.
Take or instance, there are over 300,000 of the confirmed cases of the COVID 19 and more than 8000 death the US. Indeed the State of New York, remain the worst hit with nearly 3,000 deaths which is giving Andrew Cuomo, the governor a cause for concern.
The Coronavirus situation in the US, particular, New York, has become so worrisome that Donald Trump, the President had been advised by officials of the Center for disease Control and Prevention, the US government public health advisory agency to wear the face mask to avoid contacting the deadly disease which he had ignored. He had told his advisers that it will not look nice for him to be greeting “ Presidents, Prime Ministers, Dictators, Kings and Queens in the Oval Office while wearing the Mask”.
In spite of the fact that that the developed economies which had deployed the 5g network to their system are currently suffering the scourge of the COVID 19, the Nigerian minister of Communications and Digital Economy had said that he is “ not aware of research by any International Organisation linking the 5g network with the COVID 19 scourge”.
He was emphatic: the major global bodies, particular, the World Health Organisation, WHO, which is an agency of the United Nations, UN, involved in health matters or the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, which is a body of Professionals had found any link between the network and the deadly disease, which had become pandemic and the 5G. He is right. There is no record anywhere in the world showing that any of the major global bodies involved in health related matters and the major global Telecom Industries had found any link between the network and disease.
Given the criticisms against the network from several quarters, a trial of the 5G network on human beings and properties was instituted last November after it was stalled for about for two months. There are indications that the trial exercise will re-commence between now and September, 2020, in order to accommodate all the Industry stakeholders which did not feature in the previous trial exercise.
Pantami, the minister of Communications and Digital Economy who was said to have been invited to the first phase trial exercise of the network alongside other world global Telecommunication leaders and government functionaries had said that they were given opportunity to make their observations and recommendations that could facilitate the review of the network.
Already, the government is expecting the report from the stakeholders who had participated on the trial of the network last year before deciding whether or not to deploy it into the economy or not. Unconfirmed reports said this may have informed why the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, are opposed to the invitation of Medical experts: Doctors, Nurses and others with sundry medical expertise to Nigeria to assist in curbing the spread of the disease in the country.
At present the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, had said that infections had hit 232 people who are currently been accommodated in different Isolation Center Units, ICU, in Lagos and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. There are fears that the figure may increase as the NCDC officials intensify the search for the suspected 600 people who were said to have come in contact with victims at the early stage before the enforcement of the WHO social distancing and regular of washing of hands including other safety measures recommended by the world health body.