NCC Reassures Nigerians on Safety of 5G Spectrum

•Commission targets N632.39bn revenue in 2022

Emameh Gabriel in Abuja

As Nigerians await the full operation of the new generation network, 5G, the Executive Vice Chairman of the National Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has assured Nigerians of the safety of their health.

This is just as the Commission proposed to generate N632.39 billion in 2022, from the sale of 5G spectrum to players in the telecom sector, among other revenue sources.

Danbatta who gave the assurance yesterday, when he appeared before the National Assembly joint committee on Communications to defend his commission’s 2022 budget proposal, said the commission’s response was sequel to the fear being expressed by Nigerians over the deployment of the new technology.

According to him, “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.”

He emphasised the economic importance of the 5G Spectrum network to the country and the nation’s social transformation.

He said: “There is no medical evidence from the World Health Organisations indicating any harmful effect of the spectrum on the health of the end users.

“NCC has enjoined at Nigerians at the national level to disabuse their minds on the purported harmful effect of the spectrum and we will continue to sensitise them on spectrum until everybody embraces the use of the G5 network.”

Danbatta also disclosed that with the launch of Computer Incidence Response Team, and telecommunications networks across the country were secured against any form of cyber-attack.

“Recently not up to a month ago, the commission unveiled its computer incidence responsive which is a certified round protection for cyber-attacks against telecommunication network.

“I am very proud to bring this information to the knowledge of the general public that all over the country our computers are secured from cyber-attacks.

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

For the commission’s main budget, he said a sum of N86.2 billion was proposed for recurrent expenditure; N29.36 billion for capital while N2.55 billion was earmarked for Special Projects.

Danbatta, while defending his agency’s budget before the Senate MTEF/FSP panel in September, had said, the agency could generate up to N400 billion from the spectrum auction next year.

Danbatta said his agency projected a budget of N162 billion for 2021, adding that, in the first quarter of 2021, “we have exceeded that amount because we were able to generate N181 billion.”

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

The NCC boss had said: “Each slot of the 5G spectrum is going for an exact price of N75bn. However, in an auction, it can go as high as N100 billion.

“The exact price for the Spectrum auction, in 2022 will give the federal government N300 billion. When the projected revenue is added to it, we are expecting well over N400 billion because it is an auction.”

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