NewsFG Seeks to Regulate Social, Online Media

ABUJA — Beyond instructing all social media platforms and online broadcasting service providers to apply for a broadcast license, the FG is seeking to regulate the media.

Although this increases suspicion that the Buhari administration is clamping down on free speech and internet freedom, the minister of information, Lai Mohammed has claimed the regulation of social and online media is the responsibility of his ministry.

The minister made his claims while speaking at a public hearing organised by the house committee on information, national orientation, ethics, and values on a bill to amend the NBC act.

“I want to add here specifically that internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have a responsibility to monitor contents, including Twitter,” the minister said.

However, media stakeholders kicked against the demand, asking that the house panel make NBC more independent of the minister of information.

Akin Akingbulu, executive director of the Institute for Media and Society, said the commission should not receive directives from the minister.

“The power to give directives to the commission, vested in the minister of information in section six should be removed and replaced with powers which include policy formulation for the broadcasting sector,” he said.

He indicated that the ministers need to devote more attention to the negotiation of international agreements, notifying the commission of the policy direction of the FG and ensuring that the independence of the commission is protected at all times.

Beloved John (Staff Writer)

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