In readiness for the full deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIN, who led the Nigerian delegation to the 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, powered by the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) has disclosed that the nation is putting measures in place to mitigate whatever challenges that comes with the adoption and deployment of the new technology in the country.
The Minister who spoke at GITEX Showdown Debate with Audience Participation titled, “Are We at the Risk of the Next Cyber-Pearl-Harbor?”, stated that measures like mobilisation of the Security Agencies to know the inherent dangers of the technology; development of regulatory instruments; legislation and training and retraining of experts would be given high premium considerations before the full deployment of the technology in Nigeria.
While debating on the potential cyber security that can affect the technology, Dr Pantami argued that “no system is 100 percent secured but the most important thing is to take precautionary measures, “because if we say the 5G is secured, what of other devices attached to it”, he said.
He added that developmental regulations are very critical to deployment of the technology, stating that regulations are not to stiffle the operators but to support the company and assist the government to protect her citizens.
“People think regulation is about restriction but that is not the case. We can not run away from extra legislation because doing that is precarious to the emerging technology we are witnessing today, he insisted.
“Cyber crime is moving at speed of light but cyber security is moving at the speed of law. This makes it difficult for counter approach to reduce cyber crime. Time frame in recovery from cyber attack depends on some factors which includes expertise of the people that launched the attack; the capacity of the personnel and infrastructural qualities,” he added.
While responding to questions from the press on Nigeria’s readiness towards 5G deployment, the Minister explained that government has granted trial approval for the deployment while Nigeria Communication Commission has been directed to design a regulatory instruments needed for full take off, adding that, the nature of technology does not encourage delay in implementation.
“We can not delay others because some people do not have 2G or 3G. Some already have 4G so the gap is naturally there,” he stated.
He noted that the country is not doing badly in technological development but the nation is failing because of non patronage of local contents. “Our thinking that local is inferior is not really helping us. A Nigerian by name Dr. Yusuf Sambo, who left the country less than a year ago, was part of the team that designed, developed and built the 5G real time communications, the Minister said.