Wednesday, Minister of Information Labaran Maku declared that the number of Internet users in Nigeria has risen from 200,000 in the year 2000 to more than 48 million by the end of 2012.
Maku said this while addressing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, at the State House, Abuja.
The minister added that more than one million hits were recorded monthly by the Ministry of Information on social media reporting in the country.
He underscored the need to develop the social media as an outreach, stressing that “the administration of President Jonathan will always encourage the media to thrive”.
The minister said regulation was one of the major challenges of the ministry.
According to him, while government will not seek to control the media, there is the need for some level of regulation for the industry to conform to international standard.
He said that regulations and enforcement of ethics were necessary for professional growth, quality, balance and the development of the media on sustainable basis.
Reviewing the activities of the ministry in 2012, Maku said that it embarked on public sensitisation to the need for deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector.
The minister said that the ministerial platform organised by the ministry also assisted in sensitising the public on government projects and programmes.
Maku added that the on-going National Good Governance Tour which started in 2012 had created healthy competition among states.