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FG announces plans to regulate social media

 

After launching a recent reform of the broadcast industry, the federal government has announced plans to regulate the social media space in Nigeria.

Lai Mohammed, the minister of Information and Culture who announced this while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday said there has been a call by Nigerians to “sanitise the social media” after president Muhammadu Buhari recently approved stiffer penalties for broadcast breaches and other reforms in the broadcast industry.

“I can assure you that we are also working on how to inject sanity into the Social Media space which, today, is totally out of control”, Mohammed said.

“No responsible government will sit by and allow fake news and hate speech to dominate its media space, because of the capacity of this menace to exploit our national fault lines to set us against each other and trigger a national conflagration”, he added.

The minister also recalled that he had set up a committee on the implementation of the recommendations that have already been approved by the President to “inject sanity into the nation’s broadcast industry, following the unprofessional and unethical conduct of some broadcast stations, especially before and during the last general elections.”

He maintained that the federal government is not going back on implementation.

“No amount of attacks, sponsored or otherwise, will stop the implementation of the approved recommendations. Once the committee submits its report, we will immediately kick-start the implementation of the approved measures to inject sanity into our broadcast industry”, he said.

The recommendations as contained in the report by the committee includes; a review of the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws to reflect the following amendments; upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5,000,000 for breaches relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency.

Others are: Amendment of the NBC Act to enable NBC license WebTv and radio stations, suspension of license after willful repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fine on a station and upgrade of breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ”Class A” offence in the Broadcasting Code amongst others.

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