Monday, 15 July, 2024


Twitter ban not solution to social media problem, says French ambassador

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, has said France is in support of the European Union’s reaction to the ban on Twitter by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The EU delegation in Nigeria had condemned the ban and Pasquier also expressed concern about the ban, saying it would affect the means of livelihoods of a huge population of youths who earn their living using social media platforms like Twitter and others.

He spoke in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the programmes held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the French Institute for Research in Africa in Nigeria on Friday night.

The envoy said, “The EU delegation issued a communique and France is part of the EU. Of course, we share their view and the concern has been expressed. After that, I don’t want to go into it because it is Nigeria’s domestic issue and it is up to Nigerian people to say what they think about it.

“I am a bit concerned because I understand there are plenty of young people in Nigeria creating business activities using this type of tools – Twitter, and it is very important for them to be able to continue to earn their living. I hope the government will find a solution. All countries have some questions about social media and nobody has really found yet the right solution, banning is obviously not the best solution.

“About IFRA, we are very happy to have this French institute here in Ibadan and it is doing a very good job. It is very important to have research in social sciences to better understand Nigerian society.

“I think we will need to keep in best conditions all the documentations especially with the humidity in Nigeria and so on. Some of these materials can be destroyed very quickly. So, it is a good thing to talk about the digitisations of these materials. It will give much more access to these materials through the Internet from Europe.”

The Acting Director of the Institute of African Studies, Dr Senayon Olaoluwa, identified paucity of fund as one of the major problems to digitising humanities in Africa.

Another expert at the Institute of African Studies, Dr Ayo Adeduntan, also said whenever the government embarked on prioritisation, institutes like the Institute of African Studies usually received the first blow.

The Director, Office of International Programmes, University of Ibadan, Dr Ayotola Aremu, said IFRA and the university had enjoyed a mutual relationship for the past 30 years.

He said, “IFRA has carried out many activities such as promoting excellent and cutting edge researches in the social sciences and the humanities- researches that are inspired and initiated in Nigeria. It has done this also through enhancing collaborative work between scholars from France and other West African Countries where their presence is.

“IFRA has done this through its residency programs, and through workshops, seminars and symposia. Furthermore, through researches that focus on seeking solutions to problems of democratic transition, urban violence, restructuring of educational systems in Africa and so many others, IFRA has made its mark in promoting critical reflective discourse as well as knowledge generation for development.”


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