On Thursday, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, asserted that the Federal Government had no intentions of suppressing or controlling the media. However, he underscored the importance of media organizations exercising responsibility,Daily Trust reports.
During an interview on Channels TV, he emphasized the necessity for collaboration between operators and regulators to foster a harmonious relationship for the public’s benefit.
Addressing concerns about government pressure on media houses, the minister stated, “No media outlet has been coerced. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, being a democrat and a product of communication, has no inclination to stifle the media. The administration is committed to allowing freedom of expression, provided it is wielded responsibly and does not pose problems for society.”
He acknowledged the global challenge of fake social media abuse and fake news, assuring that the government was addressing the issue in its own way. He mentioned that UNESCO was developing guidelines for social media, which all countries would adopt to combat the problem.
While granting freedom for individuals to express themselves, the minister stressed the need for responsibility, saying, “Press freedom should be accompanied by substantial responsibility.”
Regarding government communication, he expressed efforts to rebuild trust among Nigerians, emphasizing the need for a renewed national orientation. He identified a gradual erosion of values and nationalism over the years, emphasizing the importance of citizens believing in their country and leaders once again.
The minister highlighted the imperative for government officials to be truthful and for citizens to trust their government. On the transition from analog to digital broadcasting (DSO), he deemed the current progress unacceptable, pledging efforts to make DSO more effective in the coming years.