Lagos State House of Assembly has approved request by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for Unified Fibre Infrastructure and Connectivity Project under the state’s Public-Private Law.
The project, TechEconomy.ng learned, is being handled by Messrs Western Telecommunications and Engineering Services Metro Ltd.
The approval, according to this report was a sequel to the report of the House Committee on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) presented by the Chairman of the Committee, Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1) during plenary on Thursday 14th May 2020.
Olumoh revealed during an interview that the project was about laying of fibres by the concerned company and that it had nothing to do with 5G or Coronavirus.
Recall that about a month ago, at the heat of Corona Virus (COVID-19) which led to lockdown in Lagos State, the residents were apprehensive following misinformation by some people who alleged that telecommunication network operators were installing fifth (5G) generation technology in some parts of Lagos.
A clarification by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that these projects are part of (normal) infrastructure deployment or upgrade especially for 4G, as being carried out by telecom companies.
The uninformed rumour mongers went as far as linking 5G to the spread of COVID-19 thereby causing panic among Lagos residents. See one of the videos:
Meanwhile, a letter signed by the governor on the project had been read at plenary on Thursday 7th May and the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa committed it to the Committee on PPP for scrutiny before ratification by the House.
The project, Olumoh stated in the report would involve the deployment of unified fibre duct infrastructure for carrying telecommunications cables and other wired infrastructure to support operators of telecommunications and other relevant utilities, as well as provide infra and connectivity requirements for Lagos State.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE); the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other industry stakeholders have countered the claims in some quarters concerning 5G deployment in the country.
The Minister of FMoCDE, Dr. Isa Pantami, said there was no truth in the rumours, stressing that no license has been issued to that effect.
“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”, the Minister said.
In their clarification, NCC also stressed that only trial of 5G was conducted in Nigeria in November 2019 and since then, no spectrum has been given for 5G commercial roll out in the country.
According to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, “The Commission also provided clarifications on the laying of fibre optic cables within Lagos and other parts of the country to the effect that the laying of additional fibre optic cables is to strengthen the existing 3G and 4G infrastructure to provide robust and pervasive telecoms infrastructure to improve network performance”.
Commenting on the subject matter, the Chairman, Enext Witreless Inc., Engr, Remi Adeyeye, said there was no reason for alarm (Nigerians) be alarmed about 5G, adding that Africa needs massive deployment of infrastructure to boost the economic development.
The President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, Engr. Olusola Teniola, has also assured that the members will never deploy technology infrastructure that will be detrimental to the health of subscribers.
In a statement made available to TechEconomy.ng, ATCON said that such information also suggesting that 5G network causes coronavirus is baseless and untrue, adding that their members will never deploy infrastructure that will compromise the health of the end-users.
The engineer who spoke on “Mobile Network Performance and 5G Application” during an Instagram LIVE chat with TechEconomy.ng said 5G will combine the efforts in 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G to achieve maximum speed for end users.
ATCON said that as the umbrella Association of all telecommunications companies in Nigeria, they would like to state unequivocally that “it would not be part of the deployment of any technology in-country that would put the health of any Nigerian at risk, as we believe the health of end-users of any technological advancement comes as a priority in the deployment consideration of such technology by our members to provide services to Nigerians”.