Consumertrics: Nigerians Share Their Thoughts as Bill to Regulate Social Media Scales First Reading


Consumertrics, foremost Nigerian consumer protection advocates, has hit the streets of Lagos to get the pulse of the people on the recently proposed bill to regulate social media in Nigeria, which has just scaled its first reading in the National Assembly. See what Nigerians have to say about this development.

Mr. Adebayo Okunade, a business owner: “I’m a bit conflicted about this. On one hand, I understand the need to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation. But on the other, it’s crucial to protect our freedom of expression. The devil is in the details, and we need to make sure this bill won’t be misused.”

Mrs. Nkechi Okoro, a teacher: “I think it’s a step in the right direction. There’s so much false information on social media that can cause harm. I just hope they strike a balance and don’t stifle our ability to express ourselves.”

Mr. Jide Benson, a student: “I’m worried that this bill might be used to silence dissenting voices. We’ve seen this happen in other countries. We should be cautious not to jeopardize our democracy in the name of regulation.”

Mrs. Funmi Bello, a civil servant: “Social media has become a breeding ground for hate speech and division. I support regulating it, but we must ensure the government doesn’t overreach and infringe on our rights.”

Mr. Chinedu Nwosu, a journalist: “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and I’m concerned this bill might threaten it. It’s important to have checks and balances, but they should not restrict our ability to hold those in power accountable.”

Ms. Amaka Nwume, a social media influencer: “I make a living from social media, so I’m naturally concerned. If done right, regulation can protect us from misinformation. But if it’s done wrong, it could stifle creativity and entrepreneurship.”

Mr. Oyot Eshiett, an IT professional: “Regulating social media can be a good thing, but it must be handled carefully. We can’t let the government use this as a tool to control the narrative or suppress dissent.”

Mrs. Fatima Olaniyi, a lawyer: “It’s important to remember that any regulation must be consistent with our constitution and international human rights standards. The bill should undergo rigorous scrutiny to ensure it respects our freedoms.”

Mr. Tunde Abiola, a farmer: “I don’t use social media much, but I think it’s a good idea to control the spread of false information. We’ve seen how it can lead to violence. However, the government should consult with various stakeholders to make the bill fair and effective.”

Ms. Imekan Isaac, a student: “I’m all for regulating social media to combat fake news and hate speech. But we need transparency in the process. Let’s hope this bill won’t be used to target political opponents.”

National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had revealed recently that a bill it sponsored to repeal and reenact the NBC Act CAP L11 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, has passed the first reading at the national assembly.

NBC noted that the purpose of sponsoring the bill is to regulate Nigeria’s social media space.

Balarabe Ilelah, the NBC Director-General, who made this on Tuesday when he hosted Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information at the commission’s headquarters, described the “ills of social media as a monster”.