Nigerian Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed has restated that the Nigerian government is working acidulously to regulate social media usage in the country. This is in tandem with the social media bill sponsored by Senator Sani Musa, and introduced by the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 5th November 2019; to culminate the use of social media in propagating malicious information in the country.

Lai Mohammed disclosed this during a briefing with newsmen yesterday that the Nigerian Government has already contacted leading media companies like Google and Facebook as part of their plans to sanitize the media space. He further stated that come March 2nd, 2020, a committee of stakeholders will be inaugurated to ensure that this mission is brought to fruition.

 “We are pushing ahead with our plan to sanitize the social media, working with stakeholders. By March 2, 2020, we will inaugurate a stakeholders committee that will deliberate and recommend the way forward.

“We are also planning a major international conference that will bring together the tech companies, media practitioners, policymakers and others as part of efforts to tackle this growing canker-worm

“Last week, I met with representatives of Google and Facebook for the same purpose. The situation is dire, and no nation that values its peace, security, and stability will allow an irresponsible use of the social media.

“There has been a spike in the dissemination of fake news and the use of disinformation in recent times. This is not accidental: Fake news, disinformation and hate speech have become the weapons of choice to create tension in the polity and destabilize the country.

“And those behind them, the naysayers, are not about to relent. Those behind this campaign of fake news and disinformation have also deployed new tactics, top of which is the recycling old news items and videos.

“For some people, the 2019 elections are not over. They are stuck in the pre-election mode. And they must continue to use these weapons to put Nigeria on edge.”

 He said:

Lai Mohammed also revealed plans of floating a new ‘communication regulations’ which will record all calls, monitor WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook.