FG To Regulate Facebook, Instagram And Other OTTs

The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed its new plan to regulate all Over The Top (OTT) and social media platforms assessable in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the minister, Twitter and other social media platforms must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the National Broadcasting Commission or forfeit operations in the country.

The purpose of the registration with the CAC is to guarantee the government earns from the profit social media platforms make from the country.

Mohammed accused these platforms of not creating job opportunities for Nigerians and not paying taxes.

“It may interest you to know that most of the Over The Top (OTT) and social media platforms operating in Nigeria do not have any office in Nigeria and do not pay taxes to the Nigerian government for the billions they earn here.

“That is not the best practice globally, and that is why we are insisting that for you to operate in Nigeria you must first be a Nigerian company and be licensed by the broadcasting commission.

“Therefore, any OTT or social media platform operating in Nigeria must do so legally,” he said.

He said the first step was for them to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission, be licensed by the NBC, then adhere to the conditions stipulated in their licenses.

He added, “We have already advertised the notice to the companies concerned to apply for registration of license.

Speaking on the suspension of Twitter, the minister said part of the reasons the platform was banned was because of its involvement in the EndSars protest.

“Twitter has made its platform a platform of choice for people promoting activities to destabilize Nigeria… It became a national security risk… The activities of Twitter in the country is inimical to the stability of the country”

However, while proving a point on the disadvantage of the platform, the minister blamed Twitter for the death of 57 civilians, 37 policemen and 6 soldiers. Lai Mohammed alleged that these deaths were a result of Twitter involvement in the movement.

He further assured young innovators that the government would be open to funding locally created platforms.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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