Nigeria honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has explained reasons why federal Government would regulate social media.
Lai Mohammed who was represented by Memunat Idu-Lah during a roundtable discussion on culture in Imo State on Thursday, December 19th said the regulation had become necessary to curb abuses and negative effects.
He said “The resolve of the government to regulate the platform is not designed to hamper freedom of expression or gag public discourse as being alleged; rather, it is to prevent its abuse and the negative consequences.
“The phenomenon of hate speech, fake news and other forms of criminality which features regularly on the social media have the potential to harm the nation’s security, national unity and our overall national interest.”
He said that the FG was committed to promoting national unity through culture.
“The importance of culture as the bedrock of development; the role of the Nigerian youth as key drivers of development and cultural ambassadors as well as the value of the social media in contemporary times have continued to attract the attention of government and development experts.
“It is gratifying to state that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledges the importance of culture as one of the pillars of sustainable development and has identified culture as one of the key sectors for government’s economic diversification agenda.
“In the same vein, the present administration appreciates the place of youths in economic development and as future leaders and has put concrete policies in place for their training and empowerment to fight and reduce unemployment and enhance their relevance in the nation’s economic agenda.”
Meanwhile, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, who had spoken at the event berated the National Assembly over the re-introduction of the anti-hate speech bill by the Senate.
Adeyemi had warned that politicians who were afraid of criticism had no business in government.
The monarch challenged lawyers and other professionals not to allow the bill to sail through, saying death penalty should not be the punishment for abuse.
Recall that anti-hate speech bill, which seeks to regulate and punish people who make unguarded statements was recently re-introduced by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.