The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) on Thursday called on the federal and state governments to devise proposals to connect all Nigerians to the Internet.
In a statement on Safer Internet Day, the organization noted that the authorities should also ensure the protection of people online, irrespective of age, ethnicity, social or economic status.
MRA agreed that general internet connectivity would fulfil the government’s principal role in line with Section 14(2)(b) of the constitution: “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
The Communications Officer, Idowu Adewale, while speaking noted that given the global impact of the internet in the last few decades, lack of access has far-reaching negative implications and consequences for those deprived.
Adewale further stressed that while adopting laws and policies through multi-stakeholder processes will ensure that Nigerians feel sufficiently safe online and enjoy all the benefits that the internet provides.
He said such confidence-building measures could be followed by media literacy and digital literacy programmes to raise awareness about the online environment’s dangers.
Adewale urged the government to develop a broad-based strategy to address other barriers standing in the way of citizens getting online.
“MRA calls on the Federal Government to create a digital environment not only to enable citizens to enjoy their rights but also to boost social and economic development while enhancing political participation”, the statement added.