L-R: Grace Ojougboh, Head, Online Media & Special Publications, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Usma Malah, Director, Human Capital and Administration; Blessing Olaifa, Chairman, Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), Abuja Chapter; Prof. Mohammed Ajiya, President/Chief Executive Officer, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI); Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, NCC; Usman Mamman, Head, Human Capital, NCC; Bashir Bello, Head, Legislative & Government Relations, NCC and Truddy Tony-Awusaku, Principal Manager, Public Affairs, NCC,during the opening ceremony of the capacity building in at DBI, Abuja on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has dismissed all falsehoods and misinformation about the health and safety implications of deploying 5G technology in Nigeria while recounting its benefits.

Danbatta made the dismissal at a media “Capacity Building for Telecom Reporters” organised by the Commission in Abuja on Monday.

The EVC said in his address, “I welcome you all to this very important training session for members of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA).

“I understand that, to aptly reflect the focus of the training, the theme which has been deliberately chosen is “Capacity Building for Telecom Reporters”.

“It is our tradition at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that our stakeholders and partners from the Media are well equipped with the knowledge and required skill-set to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

“Today, we continue in our quest for an improved ICT industry in Nigeria by assembling a team of seasoned professionals at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) to educate and enlighten you all on the latest trends in the global ICT industry.

“Let me turn our attention to the issue of 5G. A lot of falsehoods and misinformation have been peddled both on online and traditional media outlets about the health and safety implications of deploying 5G technology.

“As I stated in my speech during the NITRA Innovative Tech forum, according to a recent landmark economy study conducted by Qualcomm, 5G will affect the global economy and drive growth exponentially. 5G’s full economic effect will likely be realized across the globe by 2035, supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.2 trillion worth of goods and services. This impact will be much greater than the current 4G network.

“5G when fully deployed will provide increased speed and bandwidth as well as provide deeper coverage to reach people in rural or challenging locations. In addition, 5G will provide strong security for the various sectors of government and private organizations.

“Due to its sheer scale and scope, the ITU predicts 5G will accelerate the achievements of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) from affordable and clean energy to zero hunger.

“The misinformation/misrepresentation of 5G technology has the potential of derailing the launch/implementation of this new technology in our clime.

“Many Nigerians including citizens in more civilized countries were hooked on the notion that the introduction of 5G technology was the reason behind the spread of the novel COVID-19 Pandemic. This misconception was even made worse because those saddled with the responsibility of informing, educating and enlightening the average Nigerian telecom consumers were also bereft of the knowledge of this new technology and hitched a ride on the band wagon of doubters.

“This is the reason why training such as this is necessary for members of NITRA who have continued to cover the ICT industry in Nigeria. We will ensure that the NCC maintains this training periodically for our crucial stakeholders in the media to ensure that the information that reaches the average Nigerian is accurate and timely.

“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that whatever we want to introduce to the Nigerian telecoms space is well understood by Nigerians and all those who make use of our telecoms services.

“I therefore enjoin you to continue to be objective in your reportage to ensure that all our stakeholders benefit from the knowledge you will acquire during this meaningful training programme.”

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