Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, the spokesperson to the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, said in a statement posted on twitter that the minister in-charge of the ministry, Dr. Ali Patanmi, had not made such an announcement.
Suleiman urged Nigerians to disregard the ``fake news’’ attributed to the minister, which is trending in the social media.
According to Suleiman, the trending fake message indicates that all phones will be connected to the device of the ministry with effect from February 23, 2020.
``The malicious message also further discourages citizens from sharing any message or video with political or religious content as it is now officially a crime and could even lead to arrest,’’ the statement said.
The message was initially ignored by the ministry, but had to be denounced and disclaimed because it was gaining more currency in the social media.
The disclaimer, the ministry said, was necessary to give clarity and properly inform Nigerians.
``We are at a point in the nation’s history where the focus is on digitalising the Nigerian economy for the greater good of all and divisive messages such as this are more distractions,’’ she said.
Suleiman urged Nigerians to disregard the propaganda, which is aimed at inciting fears and creating public confusion.
According to her, Nigerians should ignore all and any instructions contained in the message and help in tackling the ignoble acts by immediately deleting the message to stop its further spread.