The Federal Goverment has approved the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isah Pantami, at the end of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noting that the federal government plans to protect children from the harmful side of the digital environment through the strategy.
Pantami explained that the policy is in line with the International Telecommunication Union’s policy document for all its member countries.
The minister said, “There are many benefits of going online; the world population reached 10 billion on November 15, 2022. Today, we have around 6.3 billion people online and by implication, among this number, you will discover many children.”
“They will not be able to differentiate between what is beneficial and what is harmful.”
“According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union, more than one billion children were online during COVID-19 lockdowns for their studies because schools were shut.”
“Today, without any solicitation, you will discover that many things are coming into your device on-line and unsolicited,”.
He noted that children would not be able to avoid such unsolicited items online which would affect their innocence, affect them morally and otherwise.
“The document has been titled ‘Keeping children safe in the digital environment’.”
“All member countries have been urged to ensure they come up with a policy where children will be protected.”
“It is because of this that we organised stakeholder engagement, where we invited around 37 institutions of government since it is multi-sector issue.”
“The Ministry of Information and Culture, the National Broadcasting Commission, and the National Orientation Agency, among others, have roles to play.”
“The office of the National Security Adviser and other security agencies have roles to play, the Ministry of Justice has a role to play to differentiate what is legal and what is illegal”.