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MTN Tested 5G In Nigeria Without License In Abuja, Lagos, Calabar; First Trial Powered By Huawei, Others

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A lot of Nigerians are not aware or may have forgotten that MTN Nigeria had successfully conducted a 5G network trial in Nigeria following a successful one in South Africa.

The Telco giant may have carried out the demo without license since The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on Saturday disclosed that no licence has been issued for Fifth Generation Mobile Networks popularly known as 5G in Nigeria.

Recently, opinions from several persons, professionals in the field of Information Technology, celebrities and clerics on the effects of 5G network is gradually making a lot of people around the world to believe a theoretical conspiracy which blames the lunch of 5G network as the cause of Covid-19 pandemic across the world.

These theoretical conspiracies linking Covid-19 virus and 5G network have been more prominent in The United Kingdom, United State of America and some Asian countries. The conspiracies led to a revolt against British 5G towers and a lot of them are being set on fire because of coronavirus conspiracy theories.

Former Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye and Pastor Chris Oyahkilome are part of the public figures who have made these conspiracies spread in Nigeria. Dino Melaye described 5G network as evil, stated that it kills the immune system, affects the respiratory system, causes cancer and hypertension and indirectly causing the deaths of Coronavirus patients. He also claims there are 5G masts in Abuja and Ikeja in Lagos State.

In the wake of these conspiracies and the debunk of issuance of 5G network licence by FG, the announcement made by MTN Nigeria, dated November 28, 2019, claiming to be the first in Nigeria and the whole West Africa to conduct a trial of the 5G technology is being circulated on social media. See the public announcement below;

Initiation was before 2019/2020.

In 2018, during a ₦200 billion loan facility signing by MTN Nigeria, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Adekunle Awobodu pointed out the possibility of conducting a 5G network trial.

True to his words, MTN commenced its 5G network trial in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday November 25, 2019, a first for any country in West Africa. The Telco Giant also revealed that their trial will go beyond Abuja, promised to conduct network trials in two other locations in Nigeria: Calabar and Lagos. The network testing in Abuja was powered by Huawei. Calabar and Lagos are powered by ZTE and Ericsson respectively.

Speaking during the trial in Abuja, former Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Executive Vice Chairman, Ernest Ndukwe — who is also a board member of MTN Nigeria — expressed his delight in the fact that Nigeria is one of the countries championing 5G trial on the continent.

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Nigerian Military Subjecting Children To Unlawful Detention — Amnesty International

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Rights group, Amnesty International (AI) has accused the Nigerian military of subjecting children in the northeast ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency to unlawful treatment and detention.

The allegation by Amnesty International was contained in a new report on Tuesday titled, “‘We dried our tears’: Addressing the toll on children of Northeast Nigeria’s conflict”.

According to AI, the 91-page report was based on interviews conducted between November 2019 and April 2020 with more than 230 people affected by the conflict, including 119 who were children when they suffered serious crimes by Boko Haram, the Nigerian military, or both.

The group also added that the report also included 48 children held in military detention for months or years, as well as 22 adults who had been detained with children

“The past decade of bitter conflict between Nigeria’s military and Boko Haram has been an assault on childhood itself in Northeast Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities risk creating a lost generation, unless they urgently address how the war has targeted and traumatized thousands of children,” the statement qouted Joanne Mariner, Acting Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International, as saying.

The rights group said children in areas under Boko Haram control had been subjected to torture and forced to watch public executions and other brutal punishments.

The report quoted a 17-year-old girl who narrated her life in the Sambisa forest after she escaped Boko Haram captivity for four years: “[My] wicked ‘husband’ always beat me… My daily activities included praying, cooking if there was food, [and] going for Quranic lessons. No movement was allowed, and no visiting friends. It was a terrible experience, and I witnessed different punishments, from shooting to stoning to lashing.”

“She, and most other former child “wives” interviewed – including some who returned with children born during captivity – had received little or no assistance in returning to school, starting livelihoods, or accessing psychosocial support,” Amnesty International said.

The report alleged that children who escaped Boko Haram territory were arbitrarily detained for years in military barracks, in conditions amounting to torture or other ill-treatment.

“Most such detentions are unlawful; children are never charged or prosecuted for any crime and are denied the rights to access a lawyer, appear before a judge, or communicate with their families. The widespread unlawful detentions may amount to a crime against humanity,” the report added.

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BREAKING: Nigeria Records 276 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Now 8,344

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Nigeria on Tuesday recorded 276 new cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

In its breakdown of the latest results, the NCDC said Lagos reported 161 of the new cases.

Other states with new cases include Rivers with 36, Edo with 27, Kaduna with 19, Nasarawa with 10, and Oyo with six.

There were also four new cases found in Kano, three each in Delta and Ebonyi, two in Gombe and one each in Ogun, Ondo, Borno, Abia, and Bauchi.

The number of discharged cases rose from 2,311 on Monday to 2,385. However, 16 more deaths were recorded, taking the nation’s toll to 249.

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We Have Issued Identity Numbers To 41 Million Nigerians — NIMC

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The National Identity Management Commission says it has enrolled and issued 41 million Nigerians with National Identity Number as of today.

The Director-General of the NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, in an interview with journalists, said enrolment was ongoing for Nigerians in the Diaspora in 15 other countries.

Aziz said the NIN has been approved by the Federal Government as the only valid means of identification for government services by law and is a requirement for the application for a new and renewal of an expired Nigerian passport, among others.

Speaking on the challenges retarding the rate of enrolment, he said inadequate electricity, Information Technology infrastructure, inadequate enrolment centres and devices and insufficient sensitisation and awareness of the public, among others, still persisted.

According to him, the challenges are being addressed in collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders, government and with the help of the media.

“As of today, we have reached record 41 million by sheer determination and hard work. I owe all of this to the great staff of the NIMC who pushed themselves beyond their limits to see this happen,” he said.

“Diaspora enrolment was greatly received by the Nigerians in other countries and it has been going well since the launch. Enrolment is happening in over 15 countries across the world, with more countries to come on board in the near future.”

He said the plans to implement the strategic road map for accelerating digital identity in the country in June 2020 had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the project will either begin in September or December this year.

Aziz said the $433m it secured from the World Bank, Agence Francaise de Development and the European Union would be used for the expansion of enrolment centres to 4,000.

“The funding covers digital ID enrolment, issuance and usage; strengthening of the enabling law, security, privacy, data protection and cybersecurity mechanisms; as well as strengthening the IT and other backend infrastructure,” the NIMC boss stated.

He added, “There is still a need for funding on the card aspect of the programme as well as on the other regulatory functions of the commission. We are consulting with the Federal Government on these aspects.”

Aziz stressed that the commission was working on strategies to scale up card production and issuance in partnership with the private sector.

However, he said NIN was sufficient to prove or assert the identity of Nigerians anytime, anywhere.

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