Written by on January 25, 2022

As part of efforts to further address the security challenges confronting the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all the security institutions to immediately leverage on the Fifth Generation (5G) technology, when deployed, to enhance security in the country.

The President said this on Tuesday at the launch of the National Policy on 5G for Nigeria’s Digital Economy at the Statehouse Abuja.

The President said the Federal Government will take full advantage of the opportunities that 5G provides for the economy, security, and well-being of the nation.

President Buhari also allayed fears over health safety of 5G, affirming that such issues have been effectively addressed in developing a Policy that suits the country.

On the benefits of 5G technologies, the President noted that it can support virtually every sector of the economy, including enhanced connectivity, improved healthcare, support for education while fostering smart cities, and boosting agriculture, among other advantages.

The President explained that the National 5G Policy includes a deployment plan to ensure that major cities across the country benefit from the technologies.

He added that the policy, which is in line with the commitment of his administration to supporting the digital economy as an enabler for the diversification of the national economy, also seeks to make 5G a major driver of the economy, a catalyst for smart cities in the country and a platform for the creation of jobs that support the digital economy.

Buhari therefore, assured investors that the Federal Government would continue to provide an enabling environment for their businesses to be very successful as Nigeria begins the roll-out of the technology.

He noted that under his watch the agreement of the National Economic Council to peg the cost of the Right of Way at N145 per linear meter which was made in 2013, was only implemented in late 2019, after the intervention of the Federal Government.

According to the President, the Information and Communications Technology sector played a prime role in enabling Nigeria’s economy to swiftly exit the recession that was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Describing the process of developing the National 5G Policy as ‘painstaking, inclusive and focused,’ President Buhari recalled that 5G trials commenced in some selected locations in November 2019.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami affirmed the sector has recorded unprecedented achievements with increased remittances to the Federation Account, resolution of lingering issues in the industry, and successful auctioning of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum for the deployment of 5G technology.

He thanked the President for the consistent support to the sector, announcing that within two years the Federal Government completed 1,667 ICT-related projects.

On the spectrum auction for the 5G, Prof Pantami explained that from the reserve price of N75 billion per spectrum, each spectrum was assigned to the winners at the price of over N250 billion per spectrum.

The Minister expressed confidence that given the experiences from other countries and available research, Nigeria would derive maximum benefits from the deployment of 5G technology.

Editor: Paul Akhagbemhe

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