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The Minister of Communications Technology, Omobola Johnson, on Thursday in Abuja cautioned the public on the risks which go with the use of mobile phones.
Mrs. Johnson, represented by Ngozi Ogujiofor, a Deputy Director in the ministry, gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria after the inauguration of Etisalat Experience Centre.
She said one of the most dangerous devices of communications was the mobile phones, and they could affect health and cause damages to the body.
“Radiation from phones can cause problems, and this is why we are advising the public not to bring phones close to their body or use in the rain.
“The most dangerous and important element in the communications sector is mobile phones, because of the health and other related risks they bring,’’ the minister said.
She also advised telephone companies and operators to carry out sensitisation programmes to enlighten Nigerians on the risks of using mobile phones.
“It is important for operators to also enlighten the public on the risks, because this will also help members of the society to enjoy their lives,’’ Mrs. Johnson said.
The minister said there were some radioactive elements in the mobile phone which might affect the body and cause cancer and other health challenges.
Mrs. Johnson said there were possibilities that radio waves produced by mobile phones could interfere with important electrical equipment, such as telecom masts, monitors, hospitals equipments and electrical systems on airplanes.
She said that was the reason the ministry made it mandatory for operators to install their masts five kilometres away from residential areas.
“Mothers should not allow their children to play with mobile phones, especially when they are not of the age of using a mobile phone and are not well educated on the use of it,’’ the minister said.
She also cautioned people against using phones while driving.
“The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has made it an offence punishable under the law for anybody to use a mobile phone while driving.
“This is because that can lead to an accident, which may result in death or permanent injury. The best way you can avoid this is to park or use an hands-free device if you must receive such calls,’’ she said.