The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has distanced itself from content posted on social media networks that many stakeholders complained about, saying it is telecom regulator whose role revolves around facilitating the deployment of telecom infrastructure across Nigeria.
The Commission made this clarification during a recent visit of the National Civil Society Council of Nigeria (NCSCN), led by its Executive Secretary, Blessing Akinsolotu, who sought the intervention of the Commission on the worrisome and misleading content of social media platforms.
According to NCC, the major role of the telecom regulator is to facilitate the deployment of telecom infrastructure that provides different types of telecommunications services, including improving broadband that enhances robust Internet experience and ensuring fair competition as well as the protection of telecom consumers.
Receiving the group on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs of the Commission, informed the organization that the Commission’s mandate does not extend to controlling the content of such media platforms.
Its mandate according to him, includes making services available, accessible and affordable for Nigerians who may leverage such access to engage in digital social mediation for the benefit of the individual, businesses, and the nation’s socioeconomic growth.
“In the performance of its functions, the Commission promotes collaboration and partnerships with different stakeholders such as NCSCN, in creating awareness and promoting access to different categories of consumers in the country,” he said.
He said the Commission looks forward to furthering collaboration with NCSCN in its efforts to align with the aspirations of users of telecommunications services across the country.
Earlier in his submission, Blessing Akinsolotu had sought the intervention of the Commission on the worrisome and misleading content of social media platforms.
“We know that NCC, as the regulator of the telecoms industry, has a greater role to play in helping to curb the spread of fake news and incendiary content that Internet users put on social media platforms. Therefore, we want NCC to partner with us in this regard,” he stated.
Akinlosotu said the situation demands the immediate intervention of key stakeholders to ensure that the content of social media and the Internet are credible and enhances national social cohesion.
The NCSCN, a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, commended the Commission for its people-oriented and consumer-centric regulatory activities.
Akinlosotu also invited the Commission to partner with the NCSCN in hosting a conference aimed at tackling the seemingly intractable diffusion of fake news, particularly on social media networks.