We’ll regulate, not shut down, social media – FG – Newstrends
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We’ll regulate, not shut down, social media – FG

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government has no intention of shutting down social media in the country.

Mohammed, however, said the government planned to regulate the operation of those using the social media platforms to address the menace of fake news in the country.

The minister stated this on Thursday during a press conference on the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.

He said the spread of fake news through social media was responsible for the recent outbreak of violence across the country.

Many Nigerians have opposed the planned regulation of social media.

Already, a bill to effect the regulation has passed second reading at the Senate.

Mohammed said the government would forge ahead with the regulation of social media.

He said, “Keen watchers of the developments cannot fail to notice the role played by the social media in the EndSARS protest. As a veritable tool for mass mobilization, the organisers of the protest of course leveraged heavily social media for that purpose.

“But on the other hand, the same social media was used to spread fake news and disinformation that catalyzed the violence that was witnessed across the country.”

The minister also said, “This development has reinforced the campaign against fake news and disinformation, which we launched in 2018. As a matter of fact, as far back as 2017, when we dedicated that year’s National Council on Information to the issue of fake news and disinformation, we had been expressing concerns on the dangers posed by irresponsible use of the new media platform. The concerns culminated in the launch of the national campaign which I referred to earlier.

“The social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties, both public and private.

“As we have said many times, no responsible government will stand by and allow such abuse of social media to continue. The fake news/disinformation purveyors have latched on to our concerns to allege that the Federal Government is planning to shut down social media.

“No, we have no plans to shut down the social media. What we have always advocated, and what we will do, is to regulate the social media. Nigeria is not alone in this regard. The issue of social media regulation is an ongoing debate not just in Nigeria but around the world, including in the United States, which is the flag flyer of constitutional democracy. Even the owners of the various social media platforms, including Facebook, are increasingly joining the call for content regulation.”

Mohammed argued that if social media was left uncensored, there might not be a country left to defend.

He said, “What they have failed to understand is that the only reason we are even able to have this debate is because we have a country. If we allow the abuse of social media to precipitate uncontrolled internecine violence, the kind of which was narrowly averted during the EndSARS crisis, no one will remember or be able to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, for whatever purpose.

“It is incumbent upon us all, therefore, to strike a balance between free speech – which this Administration is committed to upholding – and fake news/disinformation, which it is determined to fight.”

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Tinubu appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

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Tinubu appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

President Bola Tinubu has appointed new heads for the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Other agencies with new heads are the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA, among others.

According to separate statements released by the presidential spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the appointments take immediate effect.

Tinubu appointed Ms Omolola Bridget Oloworaran as the new Director-General of the National Pension Commission, (PenCom).

Ms. Oloworaran is a finance and banking expert with many years of experience and the appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Nigerian Senate.

The statement added that the “President anticipates a goal-oriented leadership to drive efficiency and superlative performance in the National Pension Commission as the prime regulator of the Nigerian Pension Industry.”

President Tinubu also appointed Mr. Jobson Ewalefoh as the new Director-General of the ICRC.

Ewalefoh is a professional with years of experience in government and development organizations, in addition to expertise in public-private partnerships, public policy reform and development.

The appointment is also subject to the confirmation of the Senate and the President expects absolute dedication and probity in the management of the ICRC and in pursuit of its strategic objective of accelerating investment in national infrastructure through the innovative mobilization of private-sector funding.

For NALDA, President Tinubu appointed Mr. Cornelius Oluwasegun Adebayo as the new Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer.

Adebayo is an engineer and also a community and social development expert and the President expects the new Chief Executive Officer of NALDA to deploy his competence and experience in supporting and driving the growth and sustainability of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

The statement also stated that President Tinubu appointed Dr. Mainasara Umar Kogo as the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Dr. Kogo is a seasoned lawyer and analyst in the fields of law, security, economy, politics, and international diplomacy.

“The President anticipates professionalism, integrity, and fidelity to the nation in the discharge of the functions of the Office of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), it added.

Other appointments made include, Mr. Saleh Abubakar as the new Director-General of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW and Mr. Umar Ibrahim Mohammed as the new Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA.

The statement said, “Mr. Abubakar is a highly experienced public administrator with decades of experience across several sectors.

“The President expects diligence and dedication in driving the agency’s mandate of empowering communities to combat land degradation, enhance food security, and build resilience to climate change through sustainable interventions and education.”

For the new DG of NHSA, the statement said, ” Mr. Mohammed is an architect, and also, a construction technology and environment professional.

“The President expects improved outcomes in the agency’s objective of operating and maintaining hydrological stations nationwide, as well as carrying out groundwater exploration and monitoring using various scientific techniques to provide hydrological and hydrogeological data needed for planning, design, execution and management of water resources and allied projects.”

President Tinubu has also approved the appointment of Mrs. Mojisolaoluwa Kehinde Alli-Macaulay as the Executive Director (Operations) of the Fund.

Mrs. Alli-Macaulay is a former lawmaker and former Chairperson of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation, and Job Creation.

The President in a statement issued by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, “anticipates a comprehensive re-positioning of the NSITF for enhanced social protection and qualitative service delivery to the Nigerian people

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El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

Former governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has initiated legal action against Henry Marah, a member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, and Channels TV over alleged defamatory comments made during an interview about the probe of a N423 billion loan.

In a writ of summons filed before an FCT High Court dated July 11, 2024, El-Rufai, represented by his counsel A.U. Mustapha (SAN), contends that the June 5 “Politics Today” interview on Channels TV titled “Investigation of El-Rufai Administration” was “malicious, unwarranted, without justification, defamatory, and greatly injurious to the reputation of the claimant.”

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El-Rufai is seeking N3 billion in damages, jointly and severally, from Marah and Channels TV for the injury, embarrassment, and distress caused by the alleged defamatory publication, which he claims resulted in a loss of reputation and goodwill.

The interview discussed the ongoing probe into El-Rufai’s alleged borrowing of N423 billion during his tenure as governor from 2015 to 2023. During the interview, Marah accused El-Rufai of borrowing funds without due process and failing to account for the money.

Previously, El-Rufai filed a N1 billion suit against the Kaduna State House of Assembly, arguing that he was denied a fair hearing by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities, and Other Related Matters. This committee was established on April 16, 2024, to investigate financial activities during El-Rufai’s administration from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023.

No date has been set for the hearing of the case.

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

The attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has said the Supreme Court judgement affirming the autonomy of the local government areas will take effect immediately.

Mr Fagbemi, who stated this while briefing state house correspondents after meeting President Bola Tinubu, urged the governors to comply with the judgement.

While expressing his joy, Mr Fagbemi noted that the judgement has emancipated the local government council.

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He said, “Naturally, one will be happy, should be happy, Nigerians are happy about it.

“I call it local government emancipation judgement because it has really emancipated the local government from the shackles of the past and I hope that local government officials will look at it as an opportunity to develop their various local governments.”

On how to ensure compliance to the part of the judgement that requires state governments to conduct elections for government areas, the AGF said: “The ball is in the court of the governors, let us see what they will come out with, but the judgement is clear as to what they should do, the judgement is clear as to what consequences will be attached to failure or refusal to follow the judgement of the Supreme Court, which takes immediate effect.”.

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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