The Federal Government of Nigeria in a bid to streamline the use of social media space and to avert peddlers of fake news in setting up the country into chaos, the bill to regulate the cyberspace proposed bill has passed second reading.
The bill was proposed by Senator Na’Allah in the 8th Assembly which did not see the light of the day.
In recent times, peddlers of fake news have continued to be on the increase, the federal government noted that the government has the responsibility of keeping the country together, therefore, social media would not be left alone to undermine the nation's peace and values.
Accordingly, the National Assembly has reintroduced the social media regulating bill that was abandoned by the 8th Assembly; the bill when passed into law will be capable of sending offenders into a minimum of three years jail term, or an option of N150,000 naira fine or both depending on the gravity of the offence.
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The Minister said “As a matter of fact, we have already put in motion the machinery for this, saying, the government is welcoming the debate that had followed the decision and announcement to sanitise the social media space and the airwaves.
The minister noted that those who were nursing resentment against the regulation of the social media had admitted the fact that the platform was being misused by peddlers of fake news and hate speech with negative consequences.
He revealed “Their concern largely, was speculative opining that it might lead to the oppressive tendency towards the freedom of press or gaggling the media.
There has been reaction both negative and positive from members of the public towards actualisation of the new law, others said the whole idea is anti-people while others opined is necessary to curtail fake news.