Connect with us

/">

BIG STORY

No Going Back On Social Media Regulation —- FG

Avatar

Published

on

The Federal Government has said there was no going back on its move to regulate social media in the country.

As proof of that, it has contacted the two major social media platforms — Facebook and Google — over the issue.

The government cited recent instances of fake news that made it resolve to go ahead with the plan to ensure that damages were not done to the country through social media.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made these known at a news conference in Abuja yesterday.

He also explained why the ministry requires $500 million loan from and tendered an apology to air travellers for the diversion of Lagos-bound flights to neighbouring countries, especially Ghana.

Mohammed said: “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 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 destabilise 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 described report of plans by the government to float new ‘communication regulations’ aimed at recording all calls, monitoring WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook as “fake.”

Mohammed added: “Another good example is the video of the over 400 young men suspected to be Boko Haram members who were intercepted in Abia State in 2014.

“About two weeks ago, the video came back into circulation, creating panic in the polity. The intention of those behind it is simple: to create tension and panic in the country.’

Other recent instances of fake news, according to the minister, are reports that President Buhari will be travelling to the United Kingdom for 20 days before proceeding to Saudi Arabia and Austria; that the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, was attacked at Rigasa train station in Kaduna and that the Nigerian Air Force killed 250 Boko Haram insurgents.

The minister advised Nigerians “to be circumspect in believing or circulating fake news.”

He also clarified that the $500 million loan being sought from China is not for the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) alone.

Mohammed explained that the loan was for three major projects contrary to the “hysteria” created over it in a section of the media.

A section of the media had reported that the minister while defending the loan before the National Assembly, said it was for the upgrade of facilities to enable NTA to compete with the likes of United State’s Cable News Network (CNN).

His words: “In an era of social media, the real news is usually sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism and disinformation.

“That’s how I will describe the hysteria, in a section of the media, over the reportage of the 500 million dollars loan being sought from China.”

The minister said the loan would be used to construct a headquarters complex and transmission network for Integrated Television Services (ITS), the Federal Government-owned signal distributor and a major component of the country’s Digital Switchover (DSO).

He said the loan would also be used to build an ultra-modern media city in Ikorodu to have, indoor/outdoor shooting area, animation production facility and digital media training centre.

Mohammed said other facilities in the city would include world class cinema, a four-star hotel, an amusement park and amphi-theatre.

The minister said the loan would also be used for the acquisition of digital movie production equipment for rental as well as power system

He disclosed that the media city training academy was only the second of its type in, the first being in Egypt.

Mohammed said the facilities would be used to train Nigerian broadcasters and filmmakers in the production of high-quality media content programmes and make Nigeria a hub for digital movie production in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The minister also disclosed that the loan would be used for digitisation of all NTA stations at the headquarters, 12 zonal stations, the 36 states and the FCT as well as 78 community stations.

He said the fund would also be used to upgrade, purchase and install relevant digital TV broadcasting equipment compatible with DSO products and accessories.

Mohammed stressed that the equipment were necessary for the production and broadcast of digital programme contents in addition to the provision of a power system and manpower training.

The Minister, who apologized to Nigerians on the disruption of international flights in Lagos in the last one week, gave insights into technical issues which accounted for the challenges.

He said the two runways at the airport in Lagos have now been calibrated for CAT III ILS and notice sent out to airlines.

The minister said: “Let me apologize to all our citizens and other travellers who have had to endure inconveniences resulting from the diversion of their flights. This is highly regretted.

“I will also like to quickly take us through what caused the problem. In its commitment to passenger safety and security, the Federal Government has recently taken the decision to upgrade the navigational facilities at some major airports across the country.”

BIG STORY

Nigerian Govt Announces Committee To Address Job Creation, National Security As Nationwide Rampage Continues

Avatar

Published

on

The National Executive Council (NEC) has set up a committee charged with addressing unemployment and national security in the country.

This was part of the council’s resolutions at its meeting on Monday, vice-president Yemi Osinbajo’s publicist, Laolu Akande, said in a mail sent to media houses Tuesday.

The decision was taken on the backdrop of issues triggered by the weeks-long #EndSARS protests where young Nigerians sought an end to police brutality before it was hijacked by hoodlums who have caused chaos across the country in the past week.

Headed by the vice-president, the committee has the governors of Sokoto, Borno State, Niger, Ondo, Ebonyi, Delta States as members.

The committee, Mr. Akande said, is expected to engage “relevant stakeholders” to chart a way forward on “employment, social safety net programmes, and national unity among other key issues of concern” for the country.

This, he said will be done alongside engaging with security agencies, including at the state level, “to provide compensation for those who have incurred losses in the last few weeks and a framework for social security to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.”

Four in 10 Nigerians are poor and the country’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

“The council observed the low morale of security operatives during the period and members resolved to commend the Nigeria police and all the security agencies for their handling of what is clearly an unprecedented problem,” Mr Akande said in his statement.

“NEC also supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to a complete overhaul of the country’s security services by improving the capacity of security officers across the rank and file while providing them with the necessary equipment to carry out their jobs effectively,” he added.

Since the protest for police reform turned violent last week, the has country has experienced series of destruction, large-scale looting of public and private warehouses, and loss of lives, including those of security officials.

To this end, Mr Akande said NEC urged the CACOVID leadership, a private initiative committed to given palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, “to come out with an independent statement on the status of the distribution of palliatives donated to States which should clearly explain the circumstances behind the delay in the distribution of food items domiciled in warehouses across the country.”

“Council reviewed the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other secessionist groups, stressing that these subterranean and violent tendencies must be quickly addressed given that they have continually hijacked demonstrations and caused mayhem and lawlessness across parts of the country.

“Council decried the irresponsible use of social media in fueling misinformation and increasing social tensions,” Mr Akande noted.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu Approves Full Reopening Of Markets In Lagos

Avatar

Published

on

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the full reopening of markets in the state.

The Lagos Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr Wale Ahmed, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement made available by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on New Media, Gawat Jubril, noted that both food markets and non-food markets can reopen every day of the week.

Before the announcement, food and non-food markets were allowed to operate three days in a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The state government had regulated the opening of the markets to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The statement read in part, “The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the full resumption of operations of both food markets and non-food markets.

“They are now to open daily.

“Mr Governor took the decision to further enhance trade and commerce and mitigate the hardship of recent times and ensure that Lagosians can recover fast.

“Mr Governor also advised the continued observance of all safety protocols.

“Traders and their customers must adhere strictly to the covid 19 protocols for their safety and the citizenry at large.”

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, on Monday, announced that the country recorded 119 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 62,111.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

520 Suspects Arrested For Arson, Vandalism, Others In Lagos

Avatar

Published

on

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Tuesday, said 520 suspects have been arrested in connection with the series of arson, vandalism, burglary, and robbing of unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables during the unrest occasioned by the #EndSARS protest in the state.

Odumosu, who disclosed this during a press briefing at the command headquarters in the Ikeja area of the state, said the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums, adding that the arrested suspects would be charged to court.

While stating the facilities affected in the state, the CP said, “A lot of public and private facilities were set ablaze, our police stations were also burnt and vandalized.

“Based on the incidences, the command swung into action realizing that this is no more #EndSARS, where lives and property are lost and vandalized and burnt. We realized that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums, so we moved in and we were able to recover some of the stolen items and arrested the perpetrators.

“So far, 520 suspects have been arrested for various offenses, ranging from arson, robbery, murder, rioting, malicious damage, and unlawful possession of firearms. All the suspects we have arrested are not #EndSARS protesters and they will all be charged.”

Continue Reading




JoIn Us On Facebook


Live COVID-19 statistics for
World
Confirmed
43,477,005
Recovered
29,192,739
Deaths
1,159,319
Last updated: 8 minutes ago






Most Popular

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATE

BE SAFE, STAY AT HOME