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Senate Asks Govt To Suspend Deployment Of 5G Network

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Govt Approves 5G Technology

The Federal Government should suspend plans to deploy the 5G network in order to give time to study its technological impact, the Senate has said.

The upper legislative chamber has equally directed the Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC) and the mobile network operators to put the exercise on hold, for now.

The Senate took the decision when it considered and passed the report of its Joint Committee on Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber Crime, and Primary Health chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

The upper chamber had on the 5th of May, 2020 mandated the joint committee to conduct investigations into the status of the 5G network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigerian citizens.

The development followed a motion by Senator Uche Ekwunife.

The committee recommended that Nigeria should still observe the trend of 5G deployment around the globe and engage in extensive sensitisation of the public through all channels before the commencement of commercial deployments in the country.

The chairman of the joint committee, while presenting the report, said the overwhelming aggregate opinions from the majority of stakeholders was that it was appropriate for Nigeria to join the comity of nations that were engaged in the deployments of 5G for all its inherent gains.

Tinubu said the joint panel was convinced that having witnessed what had been achieved by its ‘lesser ancestors’ such as 3G and 4G, the technological impact of 5G would be such that would revolutionize Nigerians’ ways of life from education to agriculture, security to entertainment, and governance in general if the technology was deployed

Part of her report read: “The committee clarified that there was no 5G deployment in Nigeria at the moment and that no licence has been issued to any mobile number operator on a commercial basis.

READ ALSO: Senate Considers Bill To Prohibit Payment Of Ransom For Kidnapping

“It urged the relevant government agencies to prepare the ground by putting the necessary infrastructure and technology in place for its eventual deployment.

“This period of ground preparation is expected to be utilized to complete feasibility studies for the various broadband projects in order to ascertain the actual cost implications for their implementation.

“It will enable them to complete sustainability plans, provide enabling environment including free-Right of Way (RoW); tax waivers, sustainable power supply, and improve the security of men, materials, and equipment.

“It will eliminate multiple regulations and charges, recognize telecommunications infrastructure as public utility infrastructure; and engender public trust and confidence.”

The committee urged the NCC in collaboration with the mobile network operators, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Federal Ministry of Environment, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, among others to locally conduct a scientific experimental study over a period of about 6 months to ascertain if a correlation exists between 5G networks and public health.

Although the Senate said it could not establish any evidence linking 5G technology to Covid-19, it asked the MNOs to halt their plans to deploy the 5G network for the next six months.

The red chamber said it was to enable them to conduct scientific research to confirm whether or not any link exists between 5G network and public health.

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Tinubu Approves N70,000 Minimum Wage

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BREAKING: Dogara, Babachir Lead Northern Christians Against Tinubu's Muslim-Muslim Ticket

By John Michael Ojo

The Federal Government on Thursday, pegged the new national minimum wage at N70,000.

This was made known by Mr Bayo Onanuga, a Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers with promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

“President Tinubu also promised to find ways to assist the private sector and the sub-nationals to pay the minimum wage.

“President Tinubu announced the decisions at the meeting held with leaders of TUC and NLC on Thursday in Abuja, the second time the parties met in 7 days,” the statement read.

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Olaopa Urges Youths To Shun Japa Syndrome, Prepare For Leadership

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Prof. Tunji Olaopa flanked by Hon Abike Dabiri (left )and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi , former Head of Service of the Federation ( right) at the event on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, has urged youths to prepare for leadership positions early in life instead of travelling overseas to seek opportunities, a development that is popularly known as the Japa syndrome.

The seasoned bureaucrat and former federal permanent secretary said that opportunities abound for youths but that they could only access them when they begin early .

According to Olaopa who spoke on Thursday during the 2023/2024 graduation of KIA Lakeside Academy in Abuja, these opportunities will elude the youths if they opt to go and wander on the streets of foreign countries. He said : ” In the civil service I am very familiar with, people grow old and retire every day. We need youths to fill such vacancies that the old people leave behind . If all the youths go abroad to be doing menial jobs, do we go to Ghana and other neighbouring countries to employ their youths?

Prof. Tunji Olaopa and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, former Head of Service of the Federation at the event.

He said that under his leadership of the Federal Civil Service, there is so  much hope for youths to access federal jobs. He said he had decided to maintain a policy of transparency and equity in making jobs in the civil service available for all eligible Nigerian youths through open advertisement.

He said in the area of political leadership, the older generation could not keep on dominating the sector. He said that the youths would be need to replace the old political leaders as they quit the scene.

According to him, the ability to prepare early for leadership goes hand in hand with a clear vision. He said nobody could prepare for anything if there is no clear vision of where they are going or what they want.

He said people who reach great heights in life always have a clear vision of where they are going early in life and they work towards it. He gave the example of former United States President Bill Clinton who as a youth had a clear vision of being his nation’s leader.

According to Olaopa, past and current leaders in Nigeria have had early in their youths clear visions of what they want in life. He said it was this clear visions early in life that made them trailblazers in different areas of life. In politics he cited Chief Obafemi Awolowo , Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and others. He said that these were trailblazers in their youth. He said in business, young people have become trailblazers.

He said that because of the opportunities the current world offers, youths do not need to become old people before reaching great heights in life. According to him, youths have become trailblazers in technology . He mentioned the examples of Zuckerberg of Facebook, Elon Musk and a younger Bill Gates.

Talking about breaking the glass ceiling, Olaopa said that no gender barrier should stop anyone from reaching the summit of life. He said many women in the past and the present have been trailblazers. He mentioned Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Dora Akunyili,l and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He said unlike in the past , many bank CEOs in Nigeria are currently women.

However, Olaopa said that nobody could be a trailblazer without preparation. He said this preparation comes in the form of education. He quoted Nelson Mandela who once observed that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” He said if in the past people we regard as great today could get education despite the huge barriers they were faced with, youths of today have no excuse. He said Awolowo was faced with a huge educational disadvantage which he overcame by studying at home . He said Azikiwe had to find his way overseas where he suffered to educate himself. According to him, one of the greatest lawyers today in Nigeria is Chief Afe Babalola. He said Babalola overcame his challenges by studying at home and that today he owns one of the best universities in the country.

According to him, youths who lack the opportunity of going to formal university classrooms can avail themselves of the opportunities offered by the open university system that the Federal Government supports .

He said that in fact President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated his interest in the education of the less-privileged through his government’s Student loan scheme. He said that youths who desire to acquire university education but have no sponsors can use that scheme.

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Tinubu Appoints Walson-Jack Head Of Service As Yemi-Esan Retires

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Walson-Jack

As the current Head of Service Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, is due to retire on August 13, 2024, President Bola Tinubu has approved her replacement. She is Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack.

Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several Ministries.

While thanking Yemi-Esan  for her stewardship, President Tinubu tasked the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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