By Na’ankwat Dariem, Dubai,United Arab Emirates.
The Nigerian government says it is coming up with regulatory instruments to guide the deployment of 5Generation technology , 5G in the country as developmental regulation is key in aiding the deployment.
The Minister of Communications Dr. Isa Pantami disclosed this as a speaker, during the “GITEX Showdown Debate with audience participation; are We at risk of the next cyber-pearl-harbour?” in Dubia World Trade Center, UAE.
He explained that the regulatory instrument of the deployment will be carried out by the country’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC while the protection of data regulation will be handled by National Information Technology development, NITDA.
Pantami said vulnerability was inevitable as long as one is online, but the country is also building capacity which will also accelerate the deployment in Nigeria saying that precautionary measures must be ensured for the safety of the country and its Citizens.
“Firstly, it is not only Nigeria that is not yet there , secondly we are not yet there intentionally and unstrategically some of the telecom operators are ready to deploy the 5G network but the proposal was put on hold so we can be productive and proactive because there could be potential challenges that could obstruct 5G network which includes regulations.You cannot just rush into it without preparing your ground,”he said.
He explained that the government was also working with the security agencies for the success of the rollout.
“They regulations require security agencies like the engaging the Nigeria Intelligence Agencies NIA,Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFFC,State Security Service,SSS, Police Affairs, Inspector of General of police,IG and many more. The reason behind doing this is that when you deploy something and challenges comes up you should notify them so that you will be on the same page and during the trial the will able to monitor.”
“As part of subsequent regulations their observations will be accommodated in our regulatory instrument which is been handled by NCC while protection of data regulation will be handled by NITDA.”
Panntami also noted that Nigeria was ready for 5G network but needed to prepare for it.
“We are ready but need deployment and before that there is a process, we need pre-deployment and post deployment. We are working to handle the challenges of predeployment but the approval has been given for the trial.”
“And on why 5G network is yet to be deployed in the country, he said because of the nature of network at the paste we are moving, some places do not even have 2G,there are over 200 cluster areas in the country and with this you cannot say we can move to 5G when some people are yet to access 2G,3G.”
“The gaps are already there, it is not a new one but you cannot delay advancement because other people are not benefiting what we should do is to bridge the gap.”
He further said Nigeria was not doing bad in technology but fail to patronise and deploy local technology.
He sited an example of a young Nigerian, Yusuf Sambo in the university of Glasco is the first person globally to develop, build and design first real tie 5G dedicated to self organised networks in the UK using general purpose processors.
The Minister called for a change in attitude and perception that Nigerian made products are inferior.
”We usually fail to deploy what we produce, we are so much addicted to foreign products and whenever we hear anything local it appears to us as inferior and that perception of undermining our effort is what we need to change.” he stated.
Speakers at the session included Elisabeth Braw, Journalist, Senior Research Fellow – RUSI (Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies), Jawad Jalal Abbassi, Head of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – GSMA and Dritan Kaleshi, Head of Technology (5G) – Digital Catapult.