Sen. Mohammed Musa (APC-Niger) urged Nigerians before the National Assembly to endorse the social media bill because it sought to defend human dignity.
Musa said that in a statement in Abuja on Monday. He said the bill would uphold human dignity among many other inherent benefits if it was accepted.
On November 5, the Senate had re-introduced the’ Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Security Bill 2019′ to control the country’s use of social media.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Musa, was intended to counter fake internet news and direct users of social media.
“The social media bill comes with enormous gains such as a free internet that guarantees national security; protects minors from abusive forms of marketing, violence, and pornography.
“The bill, when assented to, will protect human dignity from incitement to racial hatred or racial discrimination.
”It will provide economic security and curb fraud, as well as provide instructions on pirating credit cards.
“It will also provide security, protect privacy from unauthorised communication of personal data, electronic harassment; protection of reputation and intellectual property as propounded by the European Union Paper on illegal and harmful content on the internet,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said that although Nigerians might be afraid that the law could be manipulated by politicians and government officials, it was not enough to negate the overall gains of the regulation.
He urged Nigerians to support the voyage, reiterating that it would guarantee sanity, protect rights and sensitivities on the internet.
He, however, faulted claim that the bill which had similarities with a Singaporean Statue subject was plagiarised.
According to him, it is preposterous that this is said to be an instance of plagiarism.
The lawmaker said that legislations across the globe are public documents and national legislatures do not claim right over them, to form the basis for a claim for plagiarism over their effectiveness.
He said that the problems and challenges of regulating internet activities cut across jurisdictions and was therefore inevitable that lessons should be drawn from other jurisdictions in fashioning out workable solutions in Nigeria.
He urged the general public not to heed to the immature attempt by uninformed mischief makers who were trying to distort the progress of the bill.
Musa said the law when enacted, would become a universal template that could be adopted and domesticated to fit peculiarities.
“Beyond public speaking, internet space in Nigeria has become corrosive. Information whether true or false spreads like wildfire.
“We may have the capacity to regulate the internet space but it is extremely difficult to regulate the effect of hate speech distributed through online platforms.
“We need a more standardised approach and this is the crux of the move to sanitise the corrosive internet space in Nigeria,” he said.