Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy Photo: NCC

5G Technology: Minister urges Nigerians to use networks for positive impacts, not disunity

*Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Minister for Communications and Digital Economy charges Nigerians to use the 5G deployment, which promises to increase accessible, affordable Broadband penetration, for the good and benefit of all and not disunity of the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the West African country plans to deploy the fifth (5G) technology across the country January 2022, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, has charged Nigerians to not use the proposed networks against the unity of the country.

The Minister made the appeal at the virtual 10th edition of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF 2021), organised by Nigeria Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group (NIGF-MAG), led by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in Abuja, FCT.

The year’s forum had the theme, “Internet That Works For All”, with sub-themes in the areas like accessibility, infrastructure, policy and regulation, and capacity building and development, agency report said.

RELATED: Nigeria Set For Deployment Of 5G Networks January 2022, Says Minister

ConsumerConnect reports the annual forum affords stakeholders the opportunity to participate and make contributions to the development and governance of the Internet in Nigeria.

Pantami restated that the deployment of 5G technology would go a long way in impacting positively the key sectors of the economy, such as education, health, security management, governance, and other productive ventures, rather than for the disunity of the country.

He, nonetheless, observed that in rural communities globally, only 10 percent of the populations yet have access to the fixed Broadband infrastructure.

According to Pantami, there is a lot to be done in terms of Broadband penetration, especially in those rural areas in Nigeria.

He further stated that the spectrum is available for 5G deployment, and same would be released by the Council to the NCC.

The telecoms sector regulator, in turn, will administer it while ensuring that it reaches all the telecommunications operators in the country.

The Minister also said: “We will then be able to have 5G in our country. This will increase Broadband penetration and also the speed because 5G is at least 20 times faster than 4G when it is available.

RELATED: Nigerian Government Tasks NCC On Speedy, Effective Implementation Of 5G Technology

“We must ensure that 5G deployed is not used against the nation and its unity. Let us use it for the good of our country and benefit of all.”

He noted: “We are working to ensure that Broadband infrastructure is accessible and affordable in the rural communities.

“It is for this reason that most of our policies are arranged to address the challenges that make internet expensive.”

Internet no longer a luxury, says Pantami

Prof. Pantami at the forum also explained that the use of Internet is not a luxury anymore, but a precondition to economic development of the country.

He said that the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum remains was a strategic avenue where both private and public sectors were interwoven in order to ensure the goal was achieved for all in the economy.

“Internet is no longer a luxury; it has become a prerequisite to economic development.

READ ALSO: NCC Urges Stakeholders To Activate Digital Economy For Diversification, Transformation

“It is a prerequisite to securing a nation; it also becomes a prerequisite to governance activities. It is a forum that brings public sector on one hand and private sector on the other,” stated he.

The Minister added: “It is because of this that Internet is beyond being a luxury or for socialization, but rather an important ingredient for economic development.

“Today, without Internet most of our social activities will be shut down. Our education institutions need internet to leverage on, and we also need internet to secure our nation, deliver healthcare and other services.”

It has become very important to discuss Internet that works for all, he said.

Likewise, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCC, in his remarks at the forum stated the Internet remains one of the most important resources the world over.

The NCC EVC/CEO noted that the Internet is an essential part of the people’s daily activities since the outbreak of the damaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Danbatta said: “The Internet is governed using a collaborative model of multi-stakeholder approach, thus, everyone who has a stake in the use and future of the internet needs to participate in its governance.

“Internet governance includes more than just the administration and distribution of internet resources, it also involves fundamental questions of social, cultural and economic participation in a digital society.”

He also noted that the outcome of the NIGF 2021 is expected to build consensus among stakeholders on actionable recommendations for both state and non-state actors in the Internet ecosystem in the country.

“It will focus on engaging multi-stakeholder nature of the Forum to harness and aggregate productive ideas towards brainstorming on the national Digital Economy policies by the Nigerian government,” Danbatta stated.

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