Ahead of the anticipated rollout of the Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria in 2022, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has organised capacity building workshops for media practitioners in the northern and southern geographical areas of the country.
This is part of efforts to encourage the continuous professional development of critical stakeholders in the telecommunications industry within the nation.
The workshops, which took place in Kano and Lagos recently with the theme: “5G Deployment and the Next Level of Nigeria’s Development,’ provided an avenue for media stakeholders to have better knowledge and understanding of the potentials of the new technology.
These workshops, in turn, are expected to help journalists to be able to accurately report issues around 5G, through explanatory, incisive, analytical and evidence-based reportage, while also being able to clarify misconceptions and misinformation on the new technology.
Through the workshops, the commission believes the journalists will be able to focus on how 5G will impact different sectors of the economy, including agriculture, e-commerce, e-banking, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), education, healthcare, tourism and hospitality, security, entertainment including the music and movie industries and other aspects of Digital Nigeria.
Speaking at the two workshops, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the theme of the workshops was most apt at a time when the Commission is geared towards driving the implementation of 5G deployment in the country, following the approval of the Federal Government on September 8, 2021.
Delivering his address at the Kano and Lagos workshops through the Director Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde and the Head, Online Media, NCC, Dr Omoniyi Ibietan respectively, Danbatta, stated that the workshops were organised to equip the media stakeholders with greater insights and knowledge around 5G in order to improve their overall understanding of the new technology, its usage, opportunities and the benefits it offers for the overall development of Nigeria’s socio-economic life.
“As we progress in our journey of 5G deployment, the media has a critical role in the process by ensuring proper and adequate reportage of the programmes and activities of the Commission as it unfolds the 5G Deployment Plan of the Federal Government,” he said in his opening address.
“In line with the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2025 for a Digital Nigeria, and the positioning of Nigeria as an early adopter of digital technology in the growing global digital economy, the successful and timely deployment of 5G is crucial and it is expected that the roll-out of the 5G will be carried out in phases beginning with major cities in the country, where there is need for high-quality broadband,” Danbatta said.
The Commission also made technical presentations to journalists at the workshops in terms of requirements, deployment, use cases and possible challenges which it is working with relevant stakeholders to tackle for effective implementation of 5G Deployment Plan for Nigeria.
During the technical sessions in Kano and Lagos, the media stakeholders were adequately informed on 5G characteristics such as enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low latency and speed, explaining to them that 5G will facilitate several emerging technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT), Machine-to-Machine communication, among others. The media professionals also used the opportunity to ask various questions and clarify conflicting issues bordering on security and health implications of 5G deployment.