Expert Urges National Assembly to Pass the Digital Rights Bill

A digital rights advocate, ‘Boye Adegoke has called on the National Assembly to expedite actions on the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill that has been before the House of Representatives since 2016. The bill has been moving clawing its way through legislative process since then and is now up for third reading.  

Mr. Adegoke, the program manager at Paradigm Initiative made this call during a radio interview on the Saturday Morning Show with Adaora Okoli on Nigeria Info in Port Harcourt.

“The Digital Rights and Freedom Bill was drafted to protect the rights of Nigerians online and there is no better time to pass the bill than now to ensure that Nigerians are adequately protected by the law when making use of digital tools. The bill protects the rights of everyone who is online. In fact, those in power today might soon find themselves in need of the protections provided by the proposed law when they are out of power,” Adegoke said.

“Section 12 of the bill makes provision for data protection and ensures that those collecting citizens’ data are held accountable. While Nigeria currently lacks a data protection law, not less than six government agencies collect citizens’ biometric data. This is clearly not acceptable as citizens. Also, Nigerian citizens will have a right to know how data collected about them online will be used by organizations,” he added.

Adeboye also pointed out that the recent outcry on hate speech could be solved by the template provided by Section 15 of the Bill. 

Adeboye called on citizens to reach out to their representatives at the House of Representatives “to ensure the bill is passed into law, and digital rights become protected rights”

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