Social Media Bill: Nigerian legislators advise government on alternative measures

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Nigerian lawmakers have called on the Federal Government to rethink its planned Social Media Bill currently before the National Assembly and chart a different course that would yield a better result.

The lawmakers who spoke on Thursday in Lome, Togo, on the sidelines of the ongoing Delocalized Meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament, warned that a total blanketing of social media might cause more problems than good.

Newsmen report that the Parliament’s delocalized meeting has as its theme: “ECOWAS in the era of COVID-19 and beyond: focusing on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to promote distance education and training in ECOWAS Member States”.

The meeting brought together experts and members of parliament from the Joint Committees on Education, Science and Technology -Telecommunication and Information Technology, and the committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security, as well as Committee on Infrastructure.

Speaking in an interview with newsmen, a senator, Biodun Olujimi, said a blanket ban on social media would be counterproductive as it would stifle information access.

She said that at a time when other countries were investing heavily to make the internet more accessible, especially for education during the pandemic, Nigeria should be pushing for a better way to manage social media.

Exemplifying with a law recently passed in Ghana, she said that the government should rather adopt a system of blocking specific unreliable platforms.

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