By Hassan Haruna Ginsau
The committee on Science and technology at the on-going National conference has called on the Federal Government to regulate the various social media sites used in the country.
During the committee’s presentation of its report to delegates on the floor of the conference, its chairman, Dr Daniel Maddo said that there was a need to curb the “excesses” of the social media.
“Speed and promptness of social media channels has endeared it to both youth and the elderly. There is a need to curb the excesses of this medium; the social media. The committee therefore recommends that Government establishes a legal framework for its regulation” said Maddo.
While it called for the checkmating of social media, the committee on the other hand resolved that adequate enabling laws be put in place to insulate media operators. It called on the state to take effective measures to prevent and shield them from attack and to ensure perpetrators are punished while victims have access to remedies.
Said Maddo, “We realised that members of the media play a very important role in society but we also realised they have become an endangered species. So we are saying Government should provide adequate protective measures for them so that they will be able to carry out their jobs.”
In addition, Isaac Ighure, a delegate representing the Nigeria Guild of editors in his support of the media demanded that the Federal government assist privately owned media houses in order for them to help serve the people better, to improve reporters, for broadcasters to have better equipment, and for newspapers to have better printing machines.
On the issue of Information Communication Technology (ICT), the committee proposed the recognition of the role of ICT in National development, thereby the need to improve National infrastructure in the sector to increase access, especially in rural areas.
“The requisite manpower in ICT should be trained to create jobs and check the levels of insecurity in the country. ICT literacy should be pursued through the school system. Also, measures should be adopted to reduce the cost of accessing ICT tools. There should be improved and sustained power supply.
Government should give adequate attention to space technology through provision of funds and capacity building. There is also a section on nuclear technology which calls on government commitment together with capacity building, Maddo added.
Based on the fact that “Science and technology relies on Science education”, the committee recommended the comprehensive implementation of the national science, technology and innovation policy and the national policy on education with respect to Science and technology which it found was modelled after the UNESCO recommendation. This, the chairman added should include adequate funding, capacity building and a more practical approach to imparting knowledge in the field of science and technology.