FG outlines roadmap to successful 5G deployment

Godfrey Elimian
*Pantami called on Nigerians to support and accept the new technology | *The 5G policy is designed to ensure effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban areas by 2025
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami
Isa Pantami

Nigeria’s Federal Government has charted a pathway to successfully deploy the Fifth-Generation (5G) broadband network in Nigeria, calling for collaboration between major stakeholders including policymakers, national regulatory agencies and network operators to effectively optimise the efficiency that comes with 5G to mobile users in the country.

Earlier on in December 2021, the federal government auctioned licenses for the implementation of the 5G network to the major network providers in the country in a move seen as a start-point for the possible upgrade in the telecommunication services in the country, especially internet deployment.

Related stories: FG hands over 3.5HZ Spectrum of the 5G network to NCC

5G connectivity and the future of the digital economy, By Inyene Ibanga
PHOTO: Guardian Nigeria

After the successful auctioning and the emergence of winners whose bids were accepted, the FG has kickstarted the process to enact a structure and policy to guide the execution and implementation of the broadband.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, made this known over the weekend in Lagos, when stakeholders converged on the second edition of Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PAIFo), organised by BusinessMetrics Nigeria as part of the initiative on creating a national policy on the successful implementation of 5G themed “Ascertaining Full readiness to make 5G Work in Nigeria.”

In his speech, Pantami called on Nigerians to support and accept the new technology, as all aforementioned stakeholders must ensure the provision of robust government policies, excellent regulatory and operational efficiency, as well as optimum network performance.

Duly represented by the Head of Spectrum Administratioin Department of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Abraham Oshadami, the minister stressed that the 5G policy document aligns with other policies of the federal government and would support their implementation.

Some of these policies include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for Digital Nigeria, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025) and the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector.”

In summary, the 5G policy is designed to ensure effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban areas by 2025; ensure security of 5G ecosystem and the protection of data; ensure that international best practices and globally accepted standards and specifications are entrenched in Nigeria’s 5G ecosystem, besides ensuring that the required infrastructure needed for successful deployment of the network such as data centres, power, etc. are catered for in the deployment strategies of 5G Networks,” he added.

Abraham Oshadami for Dr. Isa Pantami

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, represented by Principal Manager, Spectrum Administration Department, Joseph Emeshili added:

“As policymakers, the government should foster a pro-investment and pro-innovation environment. It should also consider to undertake its own independent economic assessment of the commercial viability of deploying new technologies (such as 5G in this case) networks with a view to providing a clear regulatory path and to enable all relevant stakeholders, including the network operators, to make informed decisions,” 

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Meanwhile, according to a statement released at the same event, it was revealed that MTN paid a total of ₦757.6 billion in taxes to all government agencies, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). While the revenue agency collected a total of ₦6.4 trillion tax revenue in that year, MTN tax share represented 13.5 per cent of the total share with about ₦618.7 billion in direct and indirect taxes.

In recipient of the applause accorded MTN Nigeria as the most tax compliant organisation, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Modupe Kadri, who received the award on behalf of the firm, stated:

“I am delighted at our performance and recognition at this year’s National Tax Dialogue event. While the past 24 months have been challenging for our country and nations worldwide, we are committed to supporting the Federal Government’s ongoing Economic Growth Recovery Plan (EGRP).

“We will continue to invest heavily in network expansion with focus on expanding access to under-served communities. We also plan to connect an additional 2,000 rural communities in 2022.”

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