Some months back, news broke out that the Nigeria government is set to stifle news coming out via social media by pushing out a bill that will regulate social media with a minimum of 3 years jail terms for offenders.
Fast forward to today and this just happens to be true as the bill has passed through first reading.
This is not the first time that bill like this has been proposed.
A similar bill was proposed in the previous senate and it was sponsored by Senator Bala Na’Allah the then-deputy majority leader of the Nigerian Senate but that bill never scaled past the first reading, due (in part), to the massive outrage by Nigerians.
The bill which has been referred to as “protection from internet falsehood and manipulations bill”, is set to screen news emanating from social media and offenders will either pay the sum of NGN150k or face jail time of 3 years.
The bill was sponsored by Mohammed Sani Musa, a senator representing Niger East and it is the first to be read legislation bill out of 11 today.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja “Nigeria needs the legislation because it would protect its fragile unity as there has never been a time when Nigeria has been very fragile in terms of its unity than this period,” Musa explained.
The Senator further state that “This bill is not to stop people from going into the internet to do whatever they feel like doing legitimately but what we felt is wrong is for you to use the medium to document information that you know is wrong and false, just because you want to achieve your desirable interest.”
“Telcom like MTN, Glo, 9mobile, Airtel, etc. that fails to properly monitor their platforms will be fined if any of their platforms are used to transmit false information,” Musa stressed.
This comes barely a week ago when Lai Mohammed Nigeria’s minister for information and culture, stated that the government is looking at ways to effectively sanitize social media.
Featured Image: thisdaylive
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