West African countries interested in adopting Nigeria’s engagement with Twitter — Pantami
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami has said that the West African Ministers for Digital Economy have expressed interest to adopt the Nigerian model in engaging Twitter which brought about a level of sanity on the contents of the microblog.
Pantami disclosed this while speaking with journalists at the closing of the maiden Digital Economy Regional Conference held in Abuja.
The Minister said his colleagues in the West African region expressed willingness to adopt some of the digital economy policies of Nigeria and they appreciated the process of formulating those policies.
“The West African digital economy Ministers are willing to adopt most of our policies that we are implementing in Nigeria, they appreciated them, they commended our modest effort of producing the policies and particularly looking at how we have diversified the economy of the country through ICT sector and digital services.
“They were requesting the way and manner the Nigerian government deal with Twitter, so they are willing to learn how they can also get a copy of some of our agreements with them (Twitter) so that they can also adopt, and they are also looking for the possibility where even the conditions can be accepted and adopted by African continent so that we can have more converged efforts to addressing the challenges.
“Some of the areas that we spoke about that they are so much worried about are hate speeches, fake identification where people will go online, adopt your name, create an account and start abusing your name or looking for money and many more.
“They have been engaging me about our effort in association with Twitter, the agreement we reached and how can this agreement be extended to at least the West Africa Sub-region or within the African continent.
“It is an ongoing discussion and all of them appreciated the boldness of Nigeria as a government, we are a sovereign country and we cannot be intimidated, all of them appreciated that Nigeria was very bold by taking a decisive decision.
“In the end, this issue brought about more understanding, today, the new media company that has the best relationship with Nigeria arguably is Twitter because sometimes conflict brings about understanding”, Pantami said.
Speaking of broadband coverage, the Minister said Starlnk service today covers all of Nigeria. He said there is no part of Nigeria where there is no Starlink today.
Pantami further stated that the Starlink services cover Nigeria’s entire landmarks 100 per cent, which means those who have the device and subscribe to it, will be able to get access to world-class broadband coverage.
“No matter what you see as the price, we negotiated with Starlink to reduce the price by over 50 per cent compared to what is being found in other places, the reduction is more than 50 per cent of their facilities and services and that was even the reason for the delay.
“You see Nigeria is a huge population and most of our citizens are poor so, you have to subsidise the price.
“So, what it means is that wherever you are today in Nigeria, there is Starlink coverage and they have been licenced, so if you have the facilities, you can access the network and that is what broadband coverage is all about”, he noted.