Nigerian Officials say social media regulation might be necessary to check abuse, but not to be rushed.
“Many positive causes have been carried out using social media,” said Chairman of Riyom Local Government Area in Plateau State, Mr. Mafeng Gwalson.
There have been extreme use of social media, said Gwalson at the third edition of the Plateau Social Media Awards on Monday. “We have seen fraud and other criminal activities carried out through the social media,” he said. However, the “many positives” of social media according to the Official call for caution in considering legal controls.
Similarly, Member representing Pankshin-Kanke-Kanam federal constituency in the Nigerian National Assembly, Mr. Yusuf Gagdi said “wide public consultation” is needed before legal controls are considered for social media use.
“Personally as Yusuf Gagdi, I am a strong advocate of social media regulation, just as it is done in developed societies. With proper regulation, people will respect the rights of others. The issue of fake news and hate speech will be minimal.
“However, as a representative of PKK constituency, I can only take decisions based on the opinion or wishes of the people that elected me. If a debate comes up in the House on social media regulation, I have to go back, hear what my people are saying and go back to tell the House that this is what my people want. I am but a messenger,” said the Rep member.
A Nigerian-British scholar, Mr. Mike Attah, said at the award ceremony, that social media is not just for socialization but for “innovative discoveries”.
The platform provides opportunities for learning and easy problem solving, he said.
Attah, giving a lecture from Cambridge through zoom challenged Nigerian social media users to identify problems and design appropriate solutions using available information and communication technology tools.
Nigeria’s Industrial Training Fund and agro research Officials lauded the creation of the Plateau social media awards, to promote positive social media use.
Mr. Joseph Ari and Prof. Garba Sharubutu, the respective Heads of the Federal Agencies said they are investing in IT, toward achieving greater effeciency in their their establishments.
Mr. Alfred Makut, the Chief organizer of the Plateau social media awards said the ceremony was borne out of concern for societal wellbeing given increasing popularity and abuse of social media.
The awards, Makut said aims to challenge youths in particular, to use social media for social good.