The Nigerian Senate has reintroduced a bill seeking to regulate social media in the country.
This comes days after the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, annnounced plans by the Federal government to sanitize social media.
The bill entitled, ‘’Protection from internet falsehood and manipulations bill, 2019’’ which is being sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, passed the first reading yesterday November 5th.
Musa who spoke to journalists after tendering the bill before the lawmakers, said the bill proposes a fine of N150, 000 or three years imprisonment for any individual caught spreading fake information on any social media platform.
“There has never been a time when Nigeria has been very fragile in terms of its unity than this period. It is not to stop people from going into the internet to do whatever they feel legitimately is okay to do but what we felt is wrong is for you to use the medium to document information that you know is false, just because you want to achieve your desirable interest” he said
Musa added that if any corporate organization is found to be guilty of peddling false informtion online, they would be fined N5 million.
“If it is a corporate organisation that refused to block that false information despite the fact that they have been alerted by authorities not to disseminate that information for public interest and they still go ahead and do it, refusing to do that blockage will be penalised between N5 million to N10 million for those organisations.
For example, MTN, Glo, 9 mobile etc. which we use their platform in transmitting these information, if nothing is done, we fine them and you will see that it will be a deterrent to others.” he said
The bill had earlier been proposed at the Eight senate but it was dismissed after much outcry from Nigerians.