- The Ministry of Communications has reacted to viral claims that activities of Nigerians on social media have been regulated
- The reports, which has been referred to as misleading, claimed that Nigerians can no more share political messages online
- The minister, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said that such reports should be disregarded as they are unfounded and false
Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy, has debunked claims that the federal government has effected the proposed regulations on social media and telephone calls.
Through a statement by his media aide, Uwa Suleiman, Pantami described the news as fake and misleading report which was fraudulently accredited to him, Daily Trust reports.
The statement said: “The malicious message also further discourages citizens from sharing any messages or videos with political or religious content as it is now officially a crime and could even lead to arrest."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that despite criticisms that greeted the proposed regulation of social media space by the upper legislative chamber, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had reiterated the position of the federal government that the social media should be regulated.
Mohammed, who was represented by the director, international cultural relations, Memunat Idu-Lah, also stated that the federal government’s resolve to regulate the social media was not designed to hamper freedom of expression or gag public discourse as being alleged.
Legit.ng gathered that he said the regulation would prevent the abuse of social media and its negative consequences.
The minister who made the statement at the Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO) in Owerri, the Imo state capital, maintained that the phenomenon of hate speech, fake news and other forms of criminality which feature regularly on the social media had the potential to harm the nation’s security, national unity and our overall national interest.
The chairman, Senate committee on culture and tourism, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by his legislative assistant, Ikenna Emeh, also backed the call for the regulation of the social media.
Okorocha, however, warned that the regulation must be approached with caution so as not to be counter-productive.
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