President Bola Tinubu has said the use of social media will be regulated in the country.
Tinubu who stated this in Lagos at the Book Presentation of “Nigerian Public Discourse” described social media as a social menace and must be regulated.
The book was titled “The Interplay of Empirical Evidence and Hyperbole”, written by the former Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, the president while stressing the importance of accurate information in policy formulation and national development, decried the menace of social media in the dissemination of fake and wrong information.
Tinubu, therefore, stressed the need to regularise the framework of news dissemination on social media to prevent mis-information in the country.
“Social media has become a societal menace and must be regulated. Many people do not understand that once the send button is hit, there is a potential to reach millions of people around the world which is capable of causing great danger not just in society but even unintended consequences to the individuals who are receiving information that may include security of life”, he said.
Emphasised the importance of data in policy formulation for the growth of Nigeria, Tinubu noted the need for accurate data for better policy formulation and execution.
“As citizens become more interested in governance, the government should ensure that engagement with citizens springs with shared agreement on what the truth is, what is real and what is not,” he said.
DAILY GIST recalls in October 2023, that the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) asked the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas to reject the recently reintroduced social media regulation bill.
SERAP noted that if passed it would unduly restrict the rights to freedom of expression and privacy of Nigerians.
The organisation called on Akpabio and Abbas to request the administration of Tinubu to drop any ongoing efforts to put pressure on Google, YouTube, TikTok and other social media companies to “unduly restrict these fundamental human rights.”
According to SERAP, the bill would “criminalize the legitimate and lawful exercise of human rights.”
Earlier in the month, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had reportedly stated that, “one of Nigeria’s major problems now is social media”, and described the social media as “a monster”.