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Conference advocates law to curb excesses of social media operators

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The National Conference sitting in Abuja on Monday advocated the

introduction of necessary legal frameworks to ensure that activities of

the social media operators are properly guided and streamlined to avoid

Conference made the decision while adopting the recommendations of the

Committee on Science, Technology and Development headed by Dr. Daniel

Maddo with Chief Raymond Dokpesi as deputy chairman.

Conference also decided that government should make laws to regulate the

operations of cyber cafes for the protection of children and under-aged

It was also resolved that in order to the elevate scientific and

technological development in Nigeria, a National Science and Technology

Fund should be established by the Federal Government for utilization in

science, technology and innovation activities.
The Fund when established would be managed by a Presidential Council for

Science, Technology and Innovation including all the Nigerian Academies.

The envisaged Council will render accounts of its operations to the Senate

either on annual or periodic basis as would be decided by an enabling law.

Conference further suggested setting up of viable military industrial

complex as obtained in advanced countries of the world to contribute to

the development of science and technology in Nigeria.

In order to empower all registered professional bodies in the building

industry to perform their expected roles, Conference called on the

National Assembly to urgently pass into law the National Building Code.

Delegates also agreed on the establishment of Abuja National Museum of

Science and History to encourage the younger generations in the study of

science as well as to encourage research among academics.

Also on Monday, the Committee on Agriculture headed by Alhaji Umaru

Muhamad Hadeija with Mrs. Ifeoma Idigbe as deputy presented its report to

the Conference in session.
The Committee was mandated to deliberate on the challenges confronting

agricultural development in Nigeria and chart the best and most acceptable

ways for surmounting such challenges in the collective interest of all

constituent parts of Nigeria.
It was also tasked with the review of reports and other working documents

from previous conferences and memoranda from delegates and the public;

identify the constitutional, political, economic, social and legal issues

that are pertinent to the future of the country.
On the same day, the Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment under the

leadership of Hajiya Bola Shagaya and Mr. Fola Adeola as deputy also

presented in its report to the Conference in plenary.

The report which would be considered on Tuesday observes that Nigeria has

enormous potentials to become one of the richest countries in the world if

all its potentials are harnessed and developed to full capacity.

It said though Nigeria has the largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in

Africa and ranks 26th in the world, that has not translated into economic

gains for its people.
The Committee stated that, 'majority of Nigerians are among the poorest in

the world because the economy does not create enough decent jobs through

manufacturing, value addition, art and craft as well as tourism.'

It attributed this to poor governance and corruption; the weak link

between development plans and budgeting at all levels of government;

little or no linkage between primary, secondary and service sector of the

economy; among others.
Meanwhile, tear-filled tributes poured out on Monday as the delegates

formally received the news of the death of former Information Minister and

member of the Conference, Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili.

Also announced at the Conference was the demise of the Emir of Kano,

Alhaji Ado Bayero, said to have been the longest serving Emir of Kano; and

the man who ensured peaceful commercial business by people of diverse

ethnic groups in the ancient city of Kano.
Conference Deputy Chairman and former Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Professor Bolaji Akinyemi who announced Akunyili's death described her as

'a fighter; a very patriotic Nigerian who fought to the very end.'

Akinyemi recalled Dora's last speech at the Conference and how she refused

to sit down and deliver her speech despite her deteriorating health

condition; he added, 'We will all miss her. Despite the frailty of her

health, she fought to the very end.'
The late Akunyili had, while commenting on the President's speech at the

inauguration of the National Conference, quoted a Greek proverb which

says, 'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they

know they shall never sit in.'
Johnson Oludeinde Oluata, in a note he sent to the chairman of Conference

and former chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi, said he was

emotionally touched when he read about the death of Professor Dora

'You will all remember her for the great impact on standardisation in

NAFDAC and the rebranding campaign while she was the Minister for

Information and of course her last appearance in our midst as a

distinguished delegate', Oluata, a delegate in Professional Bodies Group

Oluata said 'we as a body of Thought Leaders owe it a duty to pay her a

commensurate tribute.'