“If Social Media Is not Regulated, Nigeria Would Be Destroyed” – Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has said that if social media and fake news are not regulated in Nigeria, it would bring the country to its doom.
The Minister said this during a defence of the proposed 2021 budget before the committee on information, national orientation, ethics, and values.
According to him, one the biggest problems facing Nigeria as a country is the circulation of fake news via social media.
While making reference on the #EndSARS campaign, the Minister said many Nigerian youths who joined the campaign do not watch television or listen to radio but followed reports which emanated from social media.
In his words:
“The biggest challenge facing Nigeria today is fake news and misinformation.
“Based on that, we dedicated an entire national council on information’s meeting to that issue, after which we launched a national campaign against fake news in July 2018.
“We said, then, that the next war will be fought without a shot being fired, but with the use of fake news.
“We didn’t stop there. We went on a tour of all media houses to solicit their support in the fight against fake news. We launched the campaign to regulate social media, which was bitterly contested by the stakeholders. We kept saying that if we don’t regulate social media, it will destroy us. Social media and fake news will not destroy Nigeria.
“The recent #EndSARS war was fought on social media. They mobilised using the social media. The war today revolves around two things; smartphone and data. And these young men don’t even watch television or listen to radio or read newspapers.
“You will be shocked that when you start arguing with your children, they will be quoting social media. So, we need a social media policy in Nigeria and we need to empower the various agencies and we need technology to be able to regulate social media.”