Nigeria’s federal government is reported to be working on how to ‘sanitise social media according to BusinessDayNg.
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture was quoted as saying no responsible government would sit back and allow such activities capable of setting the country on fire to continue unchecked.
“The government may just no longer fold its arms and allow this to continue,” he said this in a press conference in Nigeria’s Capital Abuja.
The minister was also quoted as saying that the government would go ahead and implement tougher sanctions for broadcast stations that breach the broadcast code, especially regarding the dissemination of fake news and inciting and divisive comments.
Apparently, he assured that ‘responsible journalists’ have nothing to fear as the government’s intention was not to gag the media but to restore sanity to the airwaves.
Nigeria has the biggest population in the continent and according to their communications regulator, there are 123 million internet users in the country. The country is known being quite vocal on social media sites (especially on Twitter) and you will expect that the public will not like this move being proposed by the government.
Such a move by the Nigerian government comes at a time when we are seeing governments in the continent and around the world regulate what is being shared on social media. Uganda for example added a tax on social media apps because apparently people use it to gossip. In some other cases, Ethiopia shuts down the Internet to prevent exam leakage. In countries like Tanzania, they have taxes imposed on people who use the Internet for a living.