Following the public anxiety over the reported danger posed by Fifth Generation Mobile Network, 5G, to human health and its probable link to the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria Minister of Communication and Digital Economy,Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has allayed rising fears in the country by issuing a statement to say the country has not issued any licence for the deployment of 5G.
The social media is awash with videos by uninformed commentators, mob actions in China regarding those who are going about pulling down 5G masts and also that of a British undisclosed police woman lambasting company employees whom she thinks are using the opportunity of the stay-at home order to lay underground fibre for the network, which “is posing health challenges to people.”
The fear associated with the deadly coronavirus disease may be playing out on this campaign against 5G. The technology has been operational in the USA, UK, South Korea and China since 2018,one full year before the advent of the pandemic which scientists the world over have agreed is caused by a virus and spread by human contact through droplets in human cough, sneeze, touch and vapour from mouth.
Meanwhile, the British government has urged the media to stop promoting what it called ignorance on the G5 network after a radio in Sussex broadcast such materials. And in Nigeria, three professors of radiation physics in the University of Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria have debunked the narratives in the trending audio on 5G
They are Dr Popoola, Professor Farai and Professor Jibri
According to Popoola : The man who made this audio message can be likened to someone who is interpreting a strange language he has never studied. He does not know what he’s saying.
In a simple language, the so called 5G (fifth generation) is a transmission at far higher frequency range than 4G. This feature implies transmission of greater quantum of energy (signal) per time, hence heavy data (such as images) will download faster and will be transmitted at higher resolution. Meanwhile this may require more booster antennas at closer ranges in order to travel very far because high frequency signals get attenuated faster than low frequency signals. In short 5G will be able to accommodate larger data than 4G.
Generally, people have always displayed some fear each time a new technology arose….
The man’s use of the word ‘radioactive’ reveals that he is completely ignorant of what he claims to be explaining. The word Radioactive is from Radioactivity, which is a completely different phenomenon from radio wave. Technology is more than speculation. It is a product of basic scientific theories.
I hope we will all understand the nonsense in this video from this simple explanation. Communication networks of whatever G, for now and in the near future, are generally in frequencies of the order of Giga Hertz (GHz or 10⁹ Hz).
Thank God the video revealed this much. Meanwhile, the bulk of energy from the sun (solar radiation) is in the UV frequency range (i.e.10¹⁵ Hz). Now I ask, how can mankind, who has been bathing under the shower of UV radiation from the sun over the ages, now be under any threat of a radiation of energy over 1 million times less energy than UV radiation? That is one point.
Most importantly, there is no application of a technology that is not under any regulatory control by international bodies made up experts from all parts of globe. Most of us have one thing or the other to do with such bodies as WHO, ICNIRC, UNSCEAR, etc. If they are unaware of the fears expressed in this video or have been compromised, then we are all guilty. We should stop attending their programmes.
I really don’t understand over stretching of a simple scientific matter. Simple basic physics which our Prof. Farai has laid to rest for us as a guru in Radiation business. Use E = hf from modern Physics and the frequencies or the wavelengths of the regions for the G’s what amount of energy do you arrive at. Just like Prof. Farai said, mixing up non-ionizing radiation source to be Radioactive is a simple QED ignoramus!!
Text of Minister’s statement in full:
The attention of my office has been drawn to the public concern about the health implications of the deployment of Fifth Generation Mobile Networks (5G) in Nigeria. Based on available records at my office and the earlier report received from the regulator, I would like to clarify as follows:
i. The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G;
ii. No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country;
iii. A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria;
iv. As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial; and
v. The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.
His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, places a premium on the welfare, health and security of Nigerians. As such, our desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and welfare of our citizens.
Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public. I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.
I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue. We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
4th of April 2020