Buhari to get N4 billion for monitoring of WhatsApp, phone calls

The Buhari administration is hell bent on regulating the social media space.

President Muhammadu Buhari receives first made in Nigeria cell phone. [The Nation]

The Nigerian Senate has approved the allocation of the sum of N4.8 billion to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for the monitoring of WhatsApp messages/calls, phone calls, text messages, among others.

This allocation was contained in the supplementary budget approved by the National Assembly last Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Premium Times reports that of that sum, N1.93 billion was earmarked for “WhatsApp Intercept Solution” and N2.93 billion for “Thuraya Interception Solution” – a communications system used for monitoring voice calls or call-related information, SMS, data traffic, among others.

Lawmakers had approved and passed a supplementary budget of N982 billion for the 2021 fiscal year.

Nigeria's lawmakers are also working on a raft of bills aimed at regulating the media. Some of these bills include the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act and the Press Council Act.

President Buhari's government also recently banned social media platform Twitter, as it continues to canvass support for the regulation of the online and mainstream media space in Africa's most populous nation.

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