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5G: Nigerians and aversion to change

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A CHANGE often refers to something unusual or new that is better or more pleasant than what existed before.  Now the issue is with the adjective unusual; something one is not used to. We fear change because we can’t anticipate the outcome.

We are hardwired to resist uncertainty—our brains prefer predictable, negative outcome over an uncertain one. Especially when the need or the reason for the change is unclear, we would rather not be disturbed in our comfort zones.  

  Nigerians are a naturally skeptical people. With our rigid cultures and religious fanatisicm to back us up, we regard new techniques, innovations with so much wariness. Let’s not forget that back in the days, we had Nigerians that opposed our Independence which only amplified the fact that we are as open minded as clams.

  Technology is reshaping the world as we know it, gradually transforming our lives, daily behaviours and how we do business but in this case, the already developed 5G technology has a very good number of Nigerians worried especially with the half baked and hare-brained conspiracy theories that has somehow found their way into our phones.

A lot of us who have become petrified after reading those theories haven’t bothered to ask the right questions.

  We would be surprised to learn that the G behind 5G simply means generation and nothing ambiguous. Let’s take a walk down the memory lane of technological advancement in Nigeria and see how balanced knowledge about a new feature can bring so much good.

  The earliest mobile banking service used SMS which was then known as SMS banking. In 2002, Wells Fargo developed a mobile banking service and only 2,500 customers enrolled in it. Because of the poor response, they soon withdrew the offer.

Cashless policy in Nigeria was put in effect from Jan 1, 2012, by the Central Bank of Nigeria but in 2013, a survey conducted by the Financial Inclusion Insights of Nigeria showed that only 0.3% of the adult population made use of mobile banking.

As we all know, mobile banking enables one to check funds, transfer or send money, manage investment portfolios and even make bill payments without leaving your comfort zone as long as you have a mobile phone.

Despite the publicised advantages of mobile banking, customers still preferred to carry cash according to a research carried out by the Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce. The customers blamed it on the complexity of using the apps- something that is an alien concept now.

  Right now, the mobile banking space has taken shape in Nigeria and is reminiscent of the craze for branch expansion experienced in the mid 2000’s. Today majority of Nigerian citizens would not do their transactions any other way than the internet way.

  In the early days of some churches, television and anything that relates to it were seen as a taboo. The gadget was tagged “the box of the devil” and members of the church were strictly warned against TV, video cameras in weddings and so on. Repairing of TV was also abomination.

But today, most churches boast of over 10,000 televisions in their various churches for live transmissions. Tithes and offerings are now even paid online. The internet penetration rate increased from 11.5% in 2010 to 61.2% in 2019, according to the United Nations Population Division.

  5G is the fifth generation of wireless communication technology supporting cellular data networks. It is a next generation wireless network that is expected to enable a wave of technologies that will change the way people live and work.

 The potential applications include self-driving cars, remote surgeries and automated factories- though it will be a while before we see those kinds of changes.

Scientists say that the most important criterion about whether any particular radio frequency is dangerous is whether it falls into the category of ionising or non-ionsing radiation. Simply put, any radiation that’s non-ionising is too weak to break chemical bonds in DNA molecules, which is how the stronger forms of radiation may lead to cancer.

5G emits a non-ionising low frequency radiation. Why 5G is linked to covid-19 is because they both founded their root in China but we have to remember that correlation does not imply causation.

  The level of adoption of new technologies has continued to increase in the last decade. Let’s not jump to conclusions, what if by the next decade, 7G becomes a thing of the past?

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