Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, stated that fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks will be operational in January 2022.
The Minister was represented by Ubale Maska, NCC commissioner for technical services, during a town hall meeting in Maiduguri, Borno state, on Thursday September 23.
He said the deployment was necessary because there are over 50,000 telecommunications sites across the country and about 16,000 outages collected by mobile network operators (MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9mobile) between January 2021 and July 2022.
Fiber cutting, access restriction, and theft, according to Pantami, are to blame for the disruptions, which have caused service outage in the impacted areas.
The Minister, who criticised situations where telecoms installations were damaged in terrorist attacks and were not replaced as a result of the strenuous security issues and tensions in the north-east states, encouraged the national assembly to pass the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill as soon as possible so that it could be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for her approval.