Nigeria: Bill to Regulate Social Media Passes Second Reading At Senate

20 November 2019

A bill to regulate the use of Social Media as well as curb fake news on the internet has passed the second reading at the Senate.

The bill, 'Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019,' sponsored by Mohammed Musa was introduced in the Senate two weeks ago.

This comes a few years after a similar anti-social media bill introduced in the eight Senate, sparked outrage across the country.

The second stage of the new bill was passed after lawmakers debated details of the bill during plenary.

Leading the debate, Mr Musa said the bill does not intend to gag the media but to check the spread of false information on the internet.

He also prescribed up to N300,000 fine for an individual if found guilty; and up to N10 million for corporate organisations.

While three lawmakers supported the bill, Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu East) opposed the passage of the bill.

He said the bill was completely unnecessary given the provisions of the Cyber Crimes Act.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, then put the debate to a voice vote. Majority of the senators supported it.

Mr Lawan referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. The committee was asked to report back after four weeks.

As part of its work, the committee is expected to conduct a public hearing on the bill.

Details later...

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