The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has again refuted the insinuations that some telecom operators were seen laying fibre optic cable laying in Lagos, South-West Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, the Nigerian telecom regulator noted that the ongoing laying of fibre optic cables and the deployment of other telecoms equipment by mobile network operators (MNOs) across Lagos and other states is entirely to expand their networks infrastructure across the country to provide more efficient services to the consumers.
The statement, which quoted the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, clarified that the insinuations being spread by some individuals through viral video, audio and textual contents on social media, where they claim that there are an ongoing digging/excavation activities and laying of fibre optic cables by MNOs in Lagos and in some other states are connected to 5G equipment deployments is wrong.
“As we speak, any information suggesting or claiming that the equipment being deployed by the network operators are 5G equipment is pure misinformation deliberately orchestrated by individuals bent on creating ill-feelings in the industry,” Danbatta said.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to disregard such unfounded and ill-motivated information in its entirety regardless of whoever, no matter how highly-placed or lowly-placed, is making the insinuation.
“As the telecoms regulator, we enjoin Nigerians to get accurate information from us rather than relying on information emanating on social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform our people,” he added.
He also explained that the ongoing digging and fibre optic cable laying by some operators are in accordance with agreements reached during meetings by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and Management of the NCC with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) led by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Executive Governor of Ekiti State in January 2020. He said Nigerian Governors’ Forum gave its commitment to allow the network operators to expand their networks by granting right of way (RoW) approvals for telecommunications infrastructure expansion, unhindered, across their states. This will significantly reduce drop calls and improve the networks performance of the operating companies.
“The Governors’ Forum agreed to allow the telecoms operators to expand their networks by granting the telecoms operators necessary permits, which they had been having difficulties in getting before now. This will help them expand their networks for more effective service delivery to Nigerians. That is exactly what was or is ongoing in Lagos and in other states. It is to improve their network infrastructure,” he stated.
While emphasising that the earth-digging and cable laying activities by the operators has nothing to do with 5G deployment, the NCC boss stated that continuous network expansion is a requirement from the operators for efficient service delivery on their networks, as this helps to expand their network capacity and robustness.
Danbatta, however, re-emphasised that the Commission has not commenced any licensing process for 5G, saying what the Commission had carried out was a 5G trial for three months, during which it will be able to certify its safety to end-users and guarantee its desirability for deployment in the economy.
“In line with our regulatory process with respect to technology-neutrality, type-approval and other regulations aimed at protecting the citizens and ensuring standards have complied within the Nigerian telecoms industry, NCC ensures that adequate trial is conducted before a new technology is introduced. This is essential to ensure public safety. This is a priority for us at NCC. Similar trials were carried out by NCC on earlier technologies that we use today, ranging from 2G, 3G and 4G,” Danbatta added.