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Business News

Senate reintroduces ‘social media use’ bill, to impose 3 years imprisonment, N10 million fine 

The Nigerian Senate has finally re-introduced the bill seeking to regulate social media use in Nigeria.

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Senate reintroduces 'social media use' bill, to impose 3 years imprisonment, N10 million fine 

The Nigerian Senate has finally re-introduced the bill seeking to regulate social media use in Nigeria, as it passed the first reading at the Senate on Tuesday.

The bill titled, ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019’ was reportedly sponsored by Mohammed Sani Musa, senator representing Niger East Senatorial District.

While addressing journalists in Abuja, Senator Mohammed disclosed that the legislation was needful because it would protect the country’s “fragile unity”. According to him, the advent of social media necessitated the need for a country to see how this new media is tolerated.

NASS passes long-awaited Oil Production Sharing Bill  

“It is a legislation that will guide how we can tolerate our activities on social media. False information has been disseminated so many times and they have caused so many chaos in different parts of the World.

“I as an individual may decide to remain in my room or office and then draft something I know very well is false because I want to hit at someone. I will decide to draft and throw on social media. Waiting few seconds, it’s on there. Before you know it, it has been shared all over. I have a passion for IT and I know what it takes to disseminate your information, it is like the speed of light.” 

[READ MORE: Okorocha seeks Senate approval to float N4 billion tourism project]

The Senator further said the introduction of the bill is not a move to prevent Nigerians from airing their views objectively but to emulate other countries of the world in preventing the spread of falsehood on social media.

“I felt we need it in this country if countries like Philippines, Singapore, Italy, Malaysia, Australia, France, Indonesia, Egypt are putting control to prevent the spread of false information, what stops us from doing it? 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.

 “If today, you can disseminate information of your President, taking a picture of the President and putting it in an invitation card, giving false information of your President, the office is the highest seat in the land. It is sacrosanct. It is something we cannot see it as anyhow information and you think that is just part of freedom of information or there is liberalisation of Social Media so you can do anything. As far as I am concerned it is wrong.”

The Penalties: According to the bill, an individual who violates the regulations may pay a fine in the tune of N150,000, or bag three years imprisonment, or both. On the other hand, any corporate organisation, which is found wanting, may pay between N5 million to N10 million.

Public Complaints Commission

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Senator Musa statements read: “If anyone is caught with this kind of situation, you cough out between N150,000 to a maximum imprisonment of three years or both. And 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 to do it, refusing to do that blockage will be penalised between N5 million to N10 million for those organisations.

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“For example, MTN, Glo, 9mobile, etc. which we use their platform in transmitting this information, if nothing is done, we fine them and you will see that it will be a deterrence to others,” the lawmaker said.

[READ ALSO: Senate to probe NEPZA over 14.3 billion illegal transfer]

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The bottom line: It should be noted that a similar anti-social media bill was introduced by the previous eighth Senate but was later withdrawn after it sparked outrage across the country.

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Corporate Press Releases

Peter Obaseki retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc

Mr Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group has retired from the financial institution.

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The Board of Directors of FCMB Group Plc has announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of the financial institution, with effect from March 1, 2021. He was also an Executive Director of the Group.

His retirement was approved at a meeting of the Board of the Group on February 26, 2021. This has also been announced in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the financial institution.

The Chairman of FCMB Group Plc’s Board of Directors, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, thanked Mr. Obaseki for his valuable service and excellent support to the Board for many years.

FCMB Group Plc is a holding company divided along three business Groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Investment Banking (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited); as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).

The Group and its subsidiaries are leaders in their respective segments with strong fundamentals.

For more information about FCMB Group Plc, please visit www.fcmbgroup.com.

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Tech News

Deezer accepts payment in Naira amid stiff competitions with Spotify, Youtube music, Apple music.

Deezer has gained quite a reputation in Nigeria, as it slashes its subscription fee and now accepts payment in Naira.

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Deezer slashes subscription fee and now accepts payment in Naira amid stiff competitions with Spotify, Youtube music, Apple music.

Deezer, the French music streaming platform that has gained quite a reputation in Nigeria has slashed its subscription fee and now accepts payment in Naira.

This is coming a few weeks after Spotify launched in Nigeria and 38 other new markets in Africa.

The competition in the Nigerian music streaming space is getting hotter by the day. More music streaming platforms are entering the Nigerian market with better payment methods and cheaper pricing, thereby forcing existing players to slash their prices so as to hold on to their customer base

Launched in 2007, Deezer currently connects over 16 million monthly active users around the world to 73 million tracks.

Before now, Deezer’s subscription was rated at $4.99 (₦1,800) for premium customers and the family plan for ₦2,700.

This number has been slashed in half. The music platform now charges ₦900 ($2.36) for Deezer Premium, ₦1,400 for Deezer HiFi and ₦1,400 ($3.67) for Deezer Family Plan.

Other streaming players in Nigeria like Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube music, Boom Play, Audiomack and Soundcloud have also slashed their prices.

For YouTube Music, the monthly individual subscription costs ₦900 while a family plan costs ₦1400 ($3.67).

Spotify Premium cost ₦900 per month in Nigeria. The Premium Family plan goes for ₦1,400 for up to 6 family members.

Apple music charges ₦450 per month for students, ₦900 per month for Individual plan while the Family plan goes for ₦1,400 for up to 6 family members.

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