Yesterday, June 22, 2016, the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill passed second reading at the House of Representatives. This progress demonstrates the evidence of follow-through commitment made by the sponsor of the Bill, Dr Chukwuemeka Ujam, on the legislative consideration of the Bill; the willingness of the 8th Session of the House of Representatives to stay committed to the respect of fundamental rights of every Nigerian citizen; and the passionate work being done by the promoters of the bill. Its first reading was on the 20th of April, 2016.
The Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, listed as HB. 490 in the House of Representatives, is the brainchild of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria in collaboration with members of the NetRightsNG coalition. The core objective of the Bill is to protect the fundamental freedoms of every Nigerian online. The Bill touches on important areas in the current digital environment which includes Data and Digital Privacy, Lawful Interception, Surveillance, eGovernance, Freedom of Information, Opinion and Expression Online in Nigeria.
“At Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, we are committed to a rights-inclusive online environment in Nigeria hence our sustained objective of seeking out legal frameworks that best proffer enduring solutions to the growing challenge of abuse of digital rights in Nigeria. In addition to cursing the darkness by pointing out laws and bills that could hurt citizen rights, we are also lighting a candle by working proactively on this Positive Rights bill to guarantee online rights and freedoms in Nigeria,” said ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.
According to Adeboye Adegoke, Program Manager (ICT Policy) at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, “The stage is now set for an important stage in the process of making the Bill become law. We use this medium to call on all stakeholders to help support this Bill at its Public Hearing so as to amplify growing voices against the abuse of human rights online in Nigeria.”
If you would like more information about this topic or further project description on PIN’s Internet Freedom Advocacy work, please call Adeboye on +234 92916301 . You can also send an eMail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com