Media Rights Agenda (MRA) on Tuesday urged federal and state governments to formulate plans to get all Nigerians connected to the Internet.
The organization, in a statement on the Safer Internet Day, said authorities should also ensure citizens’ safety online regardless of age, gender, social or economic status.
MRA contended that general internet connectivity would fulfil 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, said 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 stressed that adopting laws and policies through multi-stakeholder processes will ensure Nigerians feel sufficiently safe online and can 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 dangers in the online environment.
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.