Politics, Seat of Power

Conference advocates law to curb excesses of social media operators

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The National Conference sitting in Abuja on Monday advocated the introduction of necessary legal frameworks to ensure that activities of the social media operators are properly guided and streamlined to avoid abuse.

Conference made the decision while adopting the recommendations of the Committee on Science, Technology and Development headed by Dr. Daniel Maddo with Chief Raymond Dokpesi as deputy chairman.

Conference also decided that government should make laws to regulate the operations of cyber cafes for the protection of children and under-aged users.

It was also resolved that in order to the elevate scientific and technological development in Nigeria, a National Science and Technology Fund should be established by the Federal Government for utilization in science, technology and innovation activities.

The Fund when established would be managed by a Presidential Council for Science, Technology and Innovation including all the Nigerian Academies.

The envisaged Council will render accounts of its operations to the Senate either on annual or periodic basis as would be decided by an enabling law.

Conference further suggested setting up of viable military industrial complex as obtained in advanced countries of the world to contribute to the development of science and technology in Nigeria.

In order to empower all registered professional bodies in the building industry to perform their expected roles, Conference called on the National Assembly to urgently pass into law the National Building Code.

Delegates also agreed on the establishment of Abuja National Museum of Science and History to encourage the younger generations in the study of science as well as to encourage research among academics.

Also on Monday, the Committee on Agriculture headed by Alhaji Umaru Muhamad Hadeija with Mrs. Ifeoma Idigbe as deputy presented its report to the Conference in session.

The Committee was mandated to deliberate on the challenges confronting agricultural development in Nigeria and chart the best and most acceptable ways for surmounting such challenges in the collective interest of all constituent parts of Nigeria.

It was also tasked with the review of reports and other working documents from previous conferences and memoranda from delegates and the public; identify the constitutional, political, economic, social and legal issues that are pertinent to the future of the country.

On the same day, the Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment under the leadership of Hajiya Bola Shagaya and Mr. Fola Adeola as deputy also presented in its report to the Conference in plenary.

The report which would be considered on Tuesday observes that Nigeria has enormous potentials to become one of the richest countries in the world if all its potentials are harnessed and developed to full capacity.

It said though Nigeria has the largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa and ranks 26th in the world, that has not translated into economic gains for its people.

The Committee stated that, “majority of Nigerians are among the poorest in the world because the economy does not create enough decent jobs through manufacturing, value addition, art and craft as well as tourism”.

It attributed this to poor governance and corruption; the weak link between development plans and budgeting at all levels of government; little or no linkage between primary, secondary and service sector of the economy; among others.

Meanwhile, tear-filled tributes poured out on Monday as the delegates formally received the news of the death of former Information Minister and member of the Conference, Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili.

Also announced at the Conference was the demise of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, said to have been the longest serving Emir of Kano; and the man who ensured peaceful commercial business by people of diverse ethnic groups in the ancient city of Kano.

Conference Deputy Chairman and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi who announced Akunyili’s death described her as “a fighter; a very patriotic Nigerian who fought to the very end.”

Akinyemi recalled Dora’s last speech at the Conference and how she refused to sit down and deliver her speech despite her deteriorating health condition; he added, “We will all miss her. Despite the frailty of her health, she fought to the very end.The late Akunyili had, while commenting on the President’s speech at the inauguration of the National Conference, quoted a Greek proverb which says, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

Johnson Oludeinde Oluata, in a note he sent to the chairman of Conference and former chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi, said he was emotionally touched when he read about the death of Professor Dora Akunyili.

“You will all remember her for the great impact on standardisation in NAFDAC and the rebranding campaign while she was the Minister for Information and of course her last appearance in our midst as a distinguished delegate”, Oluata, a delegate in Professional Bodies Group stated.

Oluata said, “We as a body of Thought Leaders owe it a duty to pay her a commensurate tribute.”

SIGNED

AKPANDEM JAMES

ASSISTANT SECRETARY, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION

 

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