The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the on-going laying of fibre optic cables in Lagos and other states of the Federation by Mobile Network Operators are targeted at expansion of infrastructures for improved quality of services.
Its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who made the clarification said the on-going works had nothing to do with 5G equipment deployment.
In a statement by the Director Public Affairs of the Commission, Dr Henry Nkemadu, Danbatta dismissed viral videos, audio and textual contents linking the digging and excavation activities to 5G Technology.
“As we speak, any information suggesting or claiming that the equipment being deployed by the network operators are 5G equipment is purely misinformation deliberately orchestrated by individuals bent on creating ill-feelings in the industry,” Danbatta said.
He called on Nigerians to disregard such unfounded and ill-motivated information in its entirety regardless of whoever, no matter how highly-placed or lowly-placed, is making the insinuation.
“As the telecoms regulator, we enjoin Nigerians to get accurate information from us rather than relying on information emanating on social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform our people,” Danbatta said.
The statement qouted Danbatta as saying “the ongoing digging and fibre optic cable laying by some operators are in accordance to agreements reached during meetings by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and Management of the NCC with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) led by Dr. Kayode Fayemi in January 2020 during which the Forum gave its commitment to allow the network operators expand their networks by granting right of way (RoW) approvals for telecommunications infrastructure expansion unhindered across their states.
“This will significantly reduce drop calls and improve networks performance of the operating companies (the Telcos).
“The Governors’ Forum agreed to allow the Telecoms Operators to expand their networks by granting the telecoms operators necessary permits, which they had been having difficulties in getting before now. This will help them expand their networks for more effective service delivery to Nigerians. That is exactly what was or is ongoing in Lagos and in other states. It is to improve their networks infrastructure,” he said.
Danbatta re-emphasised that the commission has not commenced any licensing process for 5G, saying what it carried out was a 5G trial for three months, during which it will be able to certify its safety to end users and guarantee the desirability for deployment in the economy.
“In line with our regulatory process with respect to technology-neutrality, type-approval and other regulations aimed at protecting the citizens and ensuring standards are complied with in the Nigerian telecoms industry, NCC ensures that adequate trial is conducted before a new technology is introduced. This is essentially to ensure public safety. This is a priority for us at NCC. Similar trials were carried out by NCC on earlier technologies that we use today, ranging from 2G, 3G and 4G,” Danbatta added.
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