NOT in any recent history has technological invention sparked more controversies in Nigeria than the proposed Fifth Generation network popularly called 5G.
For wrong or right reasons, information available on possible effects of 5G to human health which is the basis for its rejection is still sketchy to take a strong stand devoid of error in future outcomes.
But this is not limited to Nigeria alone as about 180 European scientists are currently engulfed in opposition to installations of the spectrum band, pending when certification is given on its health safety to humanity.
The uninformed on the subject matter are deeply confused with the ensuing conflicts of opinion given that much criticisms of 5G currently pander on propaganda that provide no water proof evidence on overriding negative impact of 5G to societal growth over its possible gains.
Fact remains that 5G network would definitely emit higher Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) in its Radio Frequency (RF) over the currently existing 4G or 3G, 2G,1G that had existed at different phases and times of telecommunication developmental history.
Not even the argument of one of the initiators of this anti 5G crusade Dr. L. Hardell, a Professor of Oncology at Örebro University in Sweden, Dr. L. Hardell clearly indicts the technology when he opined that “the telecom industry is trying to roll out technology that may have very real, unintended harmful consequences.
According to him, scientific studies, both recently and over many years, have identified harmful effects on health when testing wireless products under realistic conditions. “We are very concerned that the increase in radiation exposure by 5G leads to damage that cannot be reversed.”
He expressed deep concerns on 5G development without recourse to dosimetric determination or study of the possible health effects, total disregard to any positives that this technology promises to offer. While self-propelled cars are tinkered, the place of more efficient network in the project and ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ are grossly undermined in his argument.
Arguably, the 5G network is basically an improvement on the high-speed mobile internet (4G) which was an improvement on the voice and mobile data (3G) which in itself is advancement on the digital voice (2G) and the analogue voice (1G).
In rolling out 5G which some countries like South Korea, Britain, United States, Switzerland, Finland and Germany were initially credited to have done, the approving authorities did not ignore any consideration of basic issues like health, security, labour, commercial and social implications as claims to the contrary would only suggest incompetence on the part of the approving bodies- an assumption that may not stand critical and honest examination.
For the very reasons of digitalisation – a direction global affairs now tilt toward; the wisdom of the world is tested by the opponents of 5G, forgetting, unfortunately, advancements the world has made in the globalisation process driven by Information and Communication Technology in an Internet dorminated era.
Common logic supports efficiency as vital to capacity utilisation. If Information and Communication Technology operates at its best globally and Nigeria particularly, output would be enhanced and projections could be achievable with careful execution of set objectives.
Before the advent of digitalisation, fears have been that robotics may be taking over human responsibilities, a development that may create job loss and escalate unemployment.
Contrary to this believe, technology has only come to aid human limitations for maximum productivity. Machines and equipment albeit technological advancements require human inputs to function.
With digital technology driven by internet, outputs maximisation is more assured. When this capacity is fully utilised, it creates further employment in the chain because more windows will open for exploration.
In fact, the impact of efficiency hinged on technology could be more visible from production and employment gaps between advanced countries like United States of America and Europe in comparison with Africa. Even when more hands are used in Africa, outputs remain very low, with employment hardly making any significant increase.
The GDP of the developing countries is no where comparable to the civilised economy and the reason is clear- reliance on technology driven system which aids efficiency, resourcefulness in management and better planning.
But even in this obvious feat, the developed economies fight to stabilize their growth and expansion. Scientific evolutions continue to evolve and researches thrive on high gears to address challenges confronting humanity in their environs.
Even the current global COVID-19 crisis requires more hands from health experts across the globe. It takes reliable technology to build commensurate human resources that can make use of the same technology to embark on researches capable of providing solutions to global challenges.
In this wise, 5G network does not come just handy but demonstrates to a large extent, its capacity to enhance efficiency since it is going to make network more reliable. Its employment creation starts from the research level and spreads across many facets of human endeavor.
The dream of self propelled cars may be realisable if the network to drive the project is guaranteed. Auto industries may expand due to greater output while business opportunities will expand. This will not only increase expected revenue but mitigate unemployment challenges in the economy.
The telecommunication industry alone provides over one million employment opportunities to Nigerians, contributing $21billion to GDP. GLO network has over one million subscribers in Nigeria.
South African owned telecom company in Nigeria, MTN has over 90 million subscribers and revenue accrual of N9billion yearly, according to NCC report. This provides employment to a good percentage of people in Nigeria.
In the oil and gas sector, keeping track of the daily production operations at the country’s various refineries and the chain of activities in the sector require accurate information.
Speedy and reliable data generation and processing are hallmarks of computer or internet but executions of output from available data are that of humans.
In the maritime sector, the revenue accruable to Nigerian government stands at about N20trillion per annum. At the Tin-Can RORO Port in Apapa, Lagos, over 2000 jobs are created. When Onne, PortHarcourt, Calabar, Warri are put together, one can imagine the unemployment burden they relieve the government, aside from revenue generation.
The story is not different in the aviation sector. With improved network coming from 5G spectrum band, more output is expected and more hands may be needed. The robot cannot do what is exclusively that of human despite all that science attempts to change.
The gains of massive employment inherent in efficient network services that could be powered by 5G cannot be over-emphasised. Agreed that the world is already affected by dangerous emissions, scientists have not halted their search for new technovations, rather, it relentlessly seeks improved use of scientific evolutions to solve more human problems.
If European scientists see 5G as environmentally harzadous and inimical to human health, they should resort to universal conventions guiding similar inventions. But Chinese scientists should be commended for taking the lead in the introduction of 5G than ochestrated plot for outright rejection of the project while further researches should gear toward mitigating the effects.
Nigeria should not join the bandwagon of European conspiracy of sort on the 5G but utilise the opportunity to expand its own scientific field.
Unemployment has never been tied to technology but poor leadership and corruption, especially in Africa. Fifth Generation network will drive improved technology and boost industrialisation.
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