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Group lauds Nigeria’s code of ethics to regulate digital space



Group lauds Nigeria's code of ethics to regulate digital space

The Network of Advocates for Digital Reporting has lauded the Federal Government’s draft Code of Practice to regulate Interactive Computer Service Intermediaries in the country.
The coordinator of the group, Mr Dahiru Lawal, made the commendation at a news conference in Kano on Monday.
Lawal described the draft code issued by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as apt.
He said that the measure would help to check disinformation and other offensive contents, given that the general elections were imminent.
He said that the challenges continued to threaten the collective mutual value Nigerians share.
“It was only a matter of time for this conversation to come to the fore.
“Gracefully, NITDA has taken it upon itself to lead the change as far as the proposed draft code is concerned.
“We, as stakeholders, must not shy away from the fact that a vacuum of problem exists that must be solved using the instrumentality of either soft laws or codes of ethics that reflects solutions to current challenges,” Lawal said.
He further said that the world over, rules and regulations exist to moderate indiscretion to avert recipes for anarchy.
He said that recently Meta, Google, Twitter and Microsoft agreed to take a tougher line against disinformation, including deep fake and fake accounts under an updated “European Union (EU) code of practice” or face hefty fines – key word being “code of practice”.
Lawal said that more than 30 signatories, including advertising bodies, had signed up for the updated Code of Practice on Disinformation, as disclosed by the European Commission.
He said that the sector as of September 2021 was contributing over 17.92 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
According to him, this makes it the fastest-growing sector of the Nigerian economy.
“We, therefore, wish to unequivocally place on record our unreserved support for the Code of Practice.
“The digital media is a double-edged sword that can either be used as a tool to forge or a weapon to destroy and this line must clearly be drawn.
“An unregulated online space remains a recipe for civil unrest.
“This underscores the need for an instrument that will ensure that our unity in diversity is not exploited for pecuniary gains,’’ Lawal said.
He urged NITDA to work assiduously in building confidence and trust around what it is doing by continuously involving all the stakeholders. (NAN)

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