Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC

NCC reassures Nigerian legislators, consumers 5G technology deployment is safe

*The Nigerian Communications Commission informs the National Assembly Joint Committee on Communications, in Abuja, that the Commission has been sensitising consumers about safety of the new technology, reassuring Nigerians the deployment of 5G networks ‘has no harm’

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As the West African country prepares to roll out the Fifth Generation technology, the Nigerian Communications Commission has reassured Nigerian consumers of their wellbeing with the deployment of 5G networks in the country early next year.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), gave the assurance Monday, November 8, 2021, when he appeared before the National Assembly (NASS) Joint Committee on Communications to defend the telecoms sector regulatory Commission’s budget proposal for 2022.

ConsumerConnect learnt the Commission’s response followed the anxiety some members of the Joint Committee had raised in connection with a similar concern earlier expressed by some Nigerians over the planned deployment of the new technology in the Nigerian telecoms ecosystem.

RELATED: 5G Networks Safe, Beneficial As Spectrum Auction Price Starts From N75billion ─NCC

Prof. Danbatta stated that the Commission proposed to generate N632.39billion in 2022 from the sale of 5G spectrum to telecommunications firms, among other revenue sources.

The NCC EVC/CEO said: “The revenue would be realised through the sales of 5G spectrum,  fines among others.

“Concerning the fears about the 5G spectrum, we share the same concern because it is justified, and we have been sensitising Nigerians about the safety of the new technology. The 5G network we are going to launch has no harm.

“Up till date, there is no credible evidence about the health hazard of the 5G technology, therefore, it is safe.”

Regulator’s consumer sensitisation campaigns on benefits of 5G technology

According to Danbatta, the 5G spectrum networks are good for the Nigerian economy and the country’s social transformation.

The NCC EVC/CEO further explained: “There is no medical evidence from the World Health Organisation indicating any harmful effect of the spectrum on the health of the end-users.

RELATED: How Nigeria Approves National Policy On 5G Networks For Digital Economy ─Minister

“NCC has enjoined Nigerians at the national level to disabuse their minds of the purported harmful effect of the spectrum, and we will continue to sensitise them on the spectrum until everybody embraces the use of the 5G network.”

The NCC Chief further noted with the launch of Computer Incident Response Team in Abuja, FCT, recently, telecommunications networks across the country are secure against any form of cyberattack.

He said: “Recently… the Commission unveiled its computer incident responsive, which is a certified round protection for cyber attacks against telecommunication network.

RELATED Cybersecurity: Nigeria Commissions Centre For Computer Security Incident Response

“I am very very proud to bring this information to the knowledge of the general public, that all over the country, our computers are secure from cyberattacks.

“This effort is going to be intensified in order to ensure the safety of our computers,” he noted.”

Highlights of 2022 NCC budget

In regard to the Commission’s main budget, Danbatta disclosed that a sum of N86.2billion is proposed for recurrent expenditures, N29.36billion is for Capital whereas N2.55billion is earmarked for Special Projects.

READ ALSO: 5G Deployment In Nigeria Is In Line With Global Innovation Curve ─Buhari

At the budget defence in the Senate, he noted the MTEF/FSP panels September 2021 had said the NCC could generate up to N400billion from the spectrum auction next year.

While the Commission projected a budget of N162billion for 2021, Danbatta, however, told the NASS Joint Committee on Communications, that in the first quarter of 2021, “we have exceeded that amount because we were able to generate N181billion.”

He stated: “This is because two of our mobile network operators, the MTN and Airtel, requested spectrum, and that really gave us a lot of revenue.”

On 5G spectrum band price

As regards the auction price of the 3.5 GHz spectrum band for the 5G deployment in Nigeria, Danbatta, again, clarified that “each slot of the 5G spectrum is going for an exact price of N75billion.

READ ALSO: NCC Holds Stakeholder Engagement Forum On 5G Spectrum Auction in Lagos

“However, in an auction, it can go as high as N100billion.”

ConsumerConnect had reported that the Commission June 2021 had inaugurated a committee to develop the Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction of 3.5 GHz spectrum band, which would be utilised for the deployment of 5G technology services in the country.

The Commission noted the IM is a comprehensive document, which defines the process emplaned by the Commission for the auctioning of the 3.5GHz spectrum band.

Of the spectrum pricing, the NCC EVC/CEO told the lawmakers that “the exact price for the Spectrum auction, in 2022, will give the Federal Government N300billion.

“When the projected revenue is added to it, we are expecting well over N400billion because it is an auction.”

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