FG okays N718.6m mobile security scanner for Lagos port

Lai Mohammed

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N718.6 million for the supply of one mobile security scanner at the Lagos Port Complex.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, briefed State House correspondents on behalf of the Minister of Transportation after FEC meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The FEC meeting was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Mohammed said that the scanner would boost security at the port as well as attract more revenue.

“The Ministry of Transportation presented a memo for approval for the award of contract for the supply of one mobile security scanner at the Lagos Port Complex.

“ The contract is worth N718.6 million; the purpose of this memo is to supply this scanner which will enhance security at the Lagos Port Complex.

“ Hitherto, many vessels have refused to berth at the Lagos Port because they have not been too satisfied with the level of security.

“With this installation of this scanner, it going to enhance security at the airport; and will enhance revenue because more ships will now be willing to come to berth at the Apapa complex.’’

Mohammed also fielded questions on Federal Government’s move to check fake news and hate speech.

He said that fake news and hate speech presented clear and imminent danger to the unity of Nigeria especially given the multi-value, multi-religious and multi-ethnic nature of Nigeria.

According to him, the campaign which has the support of many traditional media organisations, has succeeded largely in bringing to the front burner of national discourse, the issue of fake news and hate speech.

He said however that rather than abate, the cancer of fake news had been growing worse by the day as it got to a climax just before and during the last general elections.

“That prompted the president to direct me to set up a committee to look into how we could strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in particular because most of these hate speeches and fake news were primarily on television and radio.

“At the end, the committee made recommendations to the president, which included one that we should insulate NBC from political interference; whoever is going to be the regulator must not be a person who has a political affiliation or partisanship.

“ More importantly, that breaches of regulations related to hate speech, the fine should be increased to serve as a deterrent was approved.

“ So, today, under the broadcast code, when it is going to be re-issued, a fine of N5 million as against the usual half a million has now been approved by the president for any infringement that has to do with indecency, incitement, or hate speech.

“ In addition, if any particular broadcast house infringes three times, then it will risk the suspension of its lincence,’’ he said.

The minister said that in addition, the president also approved the recommendation that henceforth, web television, online radio should be regulated otherwise they would apply for licences just like the terrestrial television and radio stations did.