Nigeria’s ministry of communications has denied reports that it has been spying on mobile phone and social media users.

This comes after a fake statement went viral and caused panic by claiming that all mobile phones are connected to the ministry’s systems and that government officials are monitoring conversations.

A spokesperson for Communication Minister, Isa Ali Pantami, has urged Nigerians to “disregard the [viral] message and delete” it upon receipt.

“The office of the Honourable Minister, initially ignored the message which has been in the public domain for some time, so as not to give undue attention to the originators,” Ms Suleiman wrote.

“But its spread, the efforts of well-meaning Nigerians to get clarity and the need to ensure that all Nigerians are properly informed, has necessitated this disclaimer/public awareness”.

A copy of the statement has been shared to Twitter:

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