For improved Internet activities and the provision of adequate security both on and off line, government must engage its citizens.
This move is expected to bring sanity to the online space and bring the populace closer to the government.
The President, Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter, Dewole Ajao, who made this call, yesterday at the fourth-day of the Social Media Week, Lagos 2019, said this has become imperative if gains of the Internet are to be harnnesed adequately in Nigeria.
Ajao, who spoke on “Internet Governance: Make Your Voice Count,’ said that government needed to understand what the concerns of the citizens were, in order to assist them participate in Internet governance.
According to him, Internet Governance mostly, is the system and process that are behind the running of the Internet.
‘’So it goes from the policies that are put in place regarding domain names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, even going into things like cyber security, privacy, among others.
“So, it is a really big mix of everything that drives the Internet.
“Government should understand what is important to the citizens on the Internet, before it starts to bring up policies,’’ he said.
Ajao said that on a daily basis, the Internet was driving a lot of things that involved peoples’ lives, hence, the need to get involved in Internet governance.
‘’If you don’t get involved in the governance of this critical resource, then you will be subject to whatever it is that anybody, anywhere decides based on what they think it should be.
“’So everybody really should be be involved. Presently, those who govern the “Internet are those who have chosen to get involved in the process of Internet governance,’’ he said.
The Internet Governance expert said that the call to action for all was for the public to join the group in working for an open, globally connected, trustworthy and secure Internet for everyone.
He also urged the public to join to promote policy that would sustain an Internet that was open and had a universally accessible platform for innovative, creative and economic opportunity.
“’There is also need to educate government that taking the Internet away from people through blocking can be damaging,’’ the President said.
Communications Coordinator, Internet Society, African Regional Bureau, Ms Betel Halilu, said that multistakeholder approach, which had to do with getting everyone involved in Internet decision should be adopted.
Hailu said that in the approach, all stakeholders had equal stake to influence decision.
‘’The Internet is full of hope and security and so there is need for everyone to tap into it to make their own impact in decision making.
‘’Our goal is to reform government decision making process on emerging internet issues to empower citizens,’’ she noted.