The Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali-Pantami, has disclosed that Nigeria is undergoing a trial phase in her quest to deploy 5G technology in the country.
The minister made the disclosure on Monday while speaking during the “GITEX Showdown Debate titled: ‘’Are we at risk of the next cyber-pearl-harbor?’, in Dubai – United Arab Emirates.
According to him, the 5G technology is being championed by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, in collaboration with relevant security agencies in the country.
He said: “Some of the telecom operators in Nigeria are willing to deploy 5G technology but the proposal was put on hold in order to be proactive and prepare the ground for the potential challenges that could come with it.
“Tackling these challenges require involving security agencies. I could vividly recall that I had a discussion with the director-general of the State Security Services, SSS, the NIA, minister of police affairs, Inspector-General of Polices, EFCC chairman and many more,” he added.
Mr Pantami noted that the wisdom behind notifying the security agencies was to prepare them ahead of the deployment so that they could be at cut-throat ready to monitor and as well deal with breaches.
“Additionally, most of these security agencies’ recommendations would be incorporated in the drafting of the regulatory instrument which is being handled by the NCC, while the data protection regulation aspect of the project would be handled by the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.
While noting that there were vulnerabilities associated with the 5G technology, Mr Pantami stressed that under his leadership, Nigerian government would come up with regulatory instruments to guide her in the deployment of the technology.
Mr Pantami added that developmental regulation would play a great role in aiding 5G technology, adding that capacity development will accelerate the deployment in Nigeria.
He said: “Cybercrime is perpetrated at the speed of light, while cybersecurity is at the speed of the law”.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the speakers at the session included Elisabeth Braw, Journalist, Senior Research Fellow at the 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.