Lawan: 'We knew Nigerians would react to anti-social media bill'
Lawan says lawmakers expected the reactions of Nigerians to the anti-social media bill.
Lawan stated this in his opening remarks at a public hearing on the bill on Monday, March 9, 2020.
The Senate President expressed concerns that the internet has had some negative influences on our lives as a people, hence the need for some form of regulation.
"I am most pleased to be here for this important public hearing. This hearing is a crucial one because the bill has generated a lot of passion," Lawan began.
"The passion is not unexpected because the bill relates to the internet. The internet has become central to our lives, as it has reshaped how we live, work and how we interact.
"Like every other innovation, it has had its positive and negative sides. While it has somewhat made communication easier, faster and even cheaper, it has also affected our ability to easily trust some information.
"When this kind of situation arises, we should interrogate all the sides in the divides on a continuous basis. Doing this will lead to a better understanding of the dimensions and provide an agreeable way forward.
"It was for this reason that we were prompt in referring the protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations and for Related Matters Bill, 2019 (sb.132), to the relevant committee last November," he added.
He urged participants to be open-minded while the conversation is on.
Sponsored by Niger lawmaker, Senator Sani Musa, the Internet Falsehood and Manipulations and for Related Matters Bill, 2019 (sb.132), has generated some controversy since its introduction at plenary on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
The bill which seeks to regulate the spread of false information in Nigeria's social media space has been seen by most critics as a way of muzzling the media and dissenting voices.
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