The General Overseer of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, has supported the proposed social media regulation by the Nigerian Government.
He gave the charge in his address on Friday at the Seventh Convocation of Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State.
According to him, unlimited access to social media platforms is robbing youths of their future, while he called for urgent steps to check unrestricted access to social media.
The Landmark University’s Chancellor explained that many young people spend most of their time chatting, with lesser time to engage in productive tasks.
“It unconsciously robs people of their future by robbing them of their time — no time to think; no time to plan; no time to programme,” Oyedepo said.
“This generation may lose her heroes to social media disaster. Here is one creeping serpent that is eating up the destinies of many individuals.”
“We must wake up from our slumber to deal with this monster. Young people, beware! Addiction to social media is like addiction to drugs. It can render a whole destiny useless.”
“This social media saga has eroded the substance of destiny of most youths today. What is supposed to be a plus has suddenly become a major minus, because everything of value delivers through investment of time.”
“Suddenly, we are faced with a generation on the wrong side of history; the honour of this generation has been wiped off — chatting all day with no time left to think, plan, programme and engage productively in the pursuit of any task.”
“Many youths spend less than 10 to 20 percent of their time on their tasks per day. They can never match a generation that spends 70 percent to 80 percent of their time on their tasks.”
“We must devise means to put a check on free access to social media, particularly those that are not adding values. Life is a race. Everyone should get on the track, ready for the run of their lives” Oyedepo said.
The Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian Government had asked the House of Representatives to enact a law to regulate social and online media in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, also asked the Federal lawmakers to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act to empower the Commission to regulate social and online media.
The Minister pushed for this at a public hearing organised by the lawmakers on Wednesday through its House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics, and Values.
According to the Minister, the Commission should also be able to regulate online media in addition to other channels of broadcasting.
Section two (b) of the NBC Act states: “(1) The Commission shall have [the] responsibility of Receiving, processing and considering applications for the establishment, ownership or operation of radio and television stations including (i) cable television services, direct satellite broadcast and any other medium of broadcasting.”
But Mohammed said, “I want to add here specifically that internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have a responsibility to monitor contents, including Twitter”.