NCC Insists 5G Not Responsible for COVID-19

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Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has described as false the claims that the switching on of 5G network in China triggered the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and called on Nigerians to remain calm to avoid aggravating the fears already created by the impact of the impact of the pandemic on human lives.

The NCC released an official statement for the first time yesterday, which clarified all the grey areas and restated that the 5G network had no link with COVID-19.

The statement, which was signed by the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, reads in part: “In view of the recent development in which misleading materials with no proven evidence being circulated to link COVID-19 with 5G technology, it has become imperative for the NCC to provide the following clarifications; Firstly, there is no correlation between the 5G technology and COVID-19. The 5G is an advancement on today’s 4G technology designed to transform the world positively.

“Secondly, there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. The NCC back in November 2019 approved the trial test for 5G for a period of three months and the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned. The trial among others was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were invited to participate during the trial.

“The NCC will continue to maintain its policy of technology neutrality and will continue to encourage service providers to deploy the best technology that will meet the needs of the society in a secured and friendly manner.”
Similarly, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), also released a statement yesterday, where it explained that there was no correlation between 5G and COVID-19 pandemic that is plaguing the world.

The statement, which was signed by ALTON’s Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said: “ALTON’S attention has been drawn to the recent issue in the media space regarding the strange connection of 5G technology to the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.

“We would ordinarily have dismissed this ‘controversy,’ which is being vociferously pursued by some people as ignorant tirades occasioned by the morbid fear of the rampaging virus, but with the prevailing circumstances of fear and tension, we have decided to categorically make the following statements.

“While aligning with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantam,i that the 5G has not been licensed by the NCC in Nigeria, let us bear in mind that telecommunication standards are prescribed for use by the relevant international regulatory agencies after thorough and comprehensive tests have been carried out to ensure particularly that all approved standards are safe for the human environment and health.

“Note, therefore, that all spectrum and frequencies used today by the mobile and satellite industries, have been extensively researched and are covered by the international safety guidelines.

“There is no iota of truth that the 5G technology is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus is also spreading in places without 5G networks like Nigeria. There are many parts of the world that do not have 5G coverage yet, but are still affected by the virus.”
In addition, the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), also issued a statement yesterday to correct the misinformation about the 5G.

The President of ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola, said in the statement that “ATCON wishes to inform telecom consumers, other stakeholders and the entire Nigerians, that without any equivocation the purported claims that the 5G is responsible for COVID-19, is baseless and it should be discountenanced by Nigerians as what it is: false information.

The claims have not been substantiated by any conclusive empirical evidence either by the World Health Organisation (WHO) or other health research institutions.”