According to statistics, Nigeria currently ranks highest in number of internet users with over 111.6 million internet users in African.
This active use of the internet by Nigerians is in diverse areas such as work-related activities, social media engagements, online transactions, purchases and so on.
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday, November 5, re-introduced a bill that will regulate the use of social media in the country. The bill, ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill 2019’ was one of the 11 bills read for the first time at the floor of the house.
The sponsor of the legislation, Sen. Mohammed Sani Musa, said the bill was aimed at curbing fake news on the internet but this action has been greeted by controversial reactions.
Musa, who is representing Niger East Senatorial District, said that his bill on social media was aimed at guiding the users and not to gag media practitioners in Nigeria.
However, this is not the first time the government has mulled the passing of a bill to regulate the use of social media.
In 2015, there was a sponsored anti-social media bill but, the bill was kicked against by many Nigerians who believe it negates citizens’ fundamental rights and would restrict freedom of expression.
It should be recalled that on June 26, 2018, the Chairman of the Nigerian Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, Abdul Fatai Buhari, announced that the Nigerian government lay before the Senate a Bill set to regulate social media because many Nigerians were misusing it.