Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami Gives Speech At The Opening ceremony Of The ONGOING 3.5Ghz Spectrum Auction
Speeche delivered at the opening ceremony of the ONGOING 3.5Ghz Spectrum Auction at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; for your kind editorial attention, please.
REMARKS OF THE SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR – PROF. ISA ALI IBRAHIM (PANTAMI), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, HONOURABLE MINISTER OF COMMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL ECONOMY, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
“Protocols and Greetings.
I am delighted to give these special remarks as we move to the next phase of the implementation of the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Econony with the 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction. 5G networks offer significant advantages over current technologies. Some of its advantage Include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater a device density longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility.
Distinguished stakeholders, ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a National 5G Policy for Nigeria’s Digital Economy on September 8, 2021. The approval process followed a very robust debate at the Council. The National Policy contains all the necessary information guiding the processes and procedures for the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.
Among other mandates, the Policy stipulated the collaboration with relevant stakeholders and provision of the required spectrum and enabling environment to ensure full deployment of 5G. This will harness the social and economic benefits that come along with it, and will serve as a catalyst for the successful implementation of our National Digital Economy Development and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. The deployment of 5G will also support in the implementation of our National Broadband Plan.
We have already made a number of giant strides in the development of our digital economy and the deployment of 5G networks will further support our efforts. For example, it is worthy of note that, as at the 10th of December, 2021, we have exceeded the 70 million mark in unique NIN enrolments. You will recall that we had just over 40 million enrolments in
September, 2020. The additional enrolments, which are close to 30 million enrolments in a little over a year, constitute a truly great feat to the extent that other countries now want to learn from us.
Furthermore, the National Policy noted the key role of the National Frequency Management Council in the allocation of spectrum for the deployment of 5G networks in Nigeria. The NFMC is also to “ensure that the required spectrum for 5G standard is made available in the most appropriate and timely manner to enable investments, innovation, and competition in the deployment of 5G services for the benefit of consumers and businesses.”
As the Chairman of NFMC, I have ensured that this has been done and today’s meeting is result of the activities of the NFMC for the implementation of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). On the implementation of the National Policy, the NCC under my supervision, is saddled with the responsibility of developing strategies, standards, guidelines and frameworks for the deployment of the 5G networks nationwide.
Accordingly, to ensure a coordinated approach, the Commission has been directed to not only collaborate with relevant agencies under the Ministry, but with all other relevant stakeholders in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Policy. In addition to these, the National Policy has been developed to achieve many other goals, a few amongst which are:
i to ensure effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban areas by 2025;
II. to ensure security of 5G ecosystem and the protection of data
III. ensure that international best practices and globally accepted standards and specifications are entrenched in Nigeria’s 5G ecosystem; and
iv. ensure that the required infrastructure needed for successful deployment of 5G networks such as data centres, power, etc, are catered for in deployment strategies of 5G networks.
The report of the 1st set of 5G-trials was critically reviewed and studied by stakeholders, with a view to understanding the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria. The review showed that 5G is safe for deployment in Nigeria and would not compromise our security as a country. This formed the basis for the development and eventual approval
of the National Policy.
Furthermore, leading international organizations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), organs of the United Nations, have so far confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks do not cause any adverse health effects and are safe.
Ladies and gentlemen, following the successful mock spectrum auctioning process on the 10th of December, we are very happy to have the actual 3.5GHz auctioning process today. You will agree with me that the successful bidders and all other stakeholders have played an important role and still have an important role to play in this journey towards using 5G to support our national economic development agenda. I have directed the NCC to monitor the process for the deployment of 5G networks in the country and provide comprehensive regular updates to my office.
On this note, it is my singular honour to officially declare this auctioning process open. l commend the Board and Management of the NCC, as well as all stakeholders on this landmark event.
Thank you all for your kind attention.”