Saturday, September 23, 2023


‘There’re existing laws’ — Akpabio says 10th NASS will not review social media bill

‘There’re existing laws’ — Akpabio says 10th NASS will not review social media bill
September 19
20:56 2023

Senate President Godswill Akpabio says the 10th national assembly will not review the social media regulation bill.

Akpabio, who was represented by Shuaib Salisu, chairman of senate committee on ICT, spoke on Tuesday during the opening of the parliamentarian symposium at the 12th African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF2023), expressed doubt on the possibility of a new bill regulating the social media.

The theme of the three-day forum taking place in Abuja is “Transforming Africa’s digital landscape: empowering inclusion, security, and innovation”.

“I am not sure that there is going to be a specific bill on social media regulation. However, there are emailing laws in various areas, social media is just one space,” he said.


:So, rather than having a specific legislation on social media. I will rather say social media is just one platform. The same way people have used regular media platform, to commit libel.”

The senate president said the symposium is historic and marked a pivotal moment in Africa’s efforts to bridge the digital divide.

“The theme of the forum is instructive. It is a reflection of the deepest yearnings of all Africans for a concerted effort to keep in step with the rest of the world in the ICT reigns,” he said.


“We now live in a digital world and the significance of the internet and digital policy in shaping the future of our nations and the African continent at large is not lost on us.

“The global internet governance forum provides stakeholders from diverse backgrounds with a unique platform to come together, exchange ideas and encourage collaborations that will contribute to realizing the theme, the internet we want and empowering all.”

Speaking with journalists at the event, Samuel George, a member of the Ghanian parliament and the secretary-general of the African parliamentary network on internet governance, said with social media now being a major source of information for many, efforts must be made to create safe spaces on the internet for users.

“About five years ago, it was realized that there was a need for stakeholders and tech players to have direct conversations with members of parliament because when you’re talking about issues of internet governance, you’re talking about legislation, creating safe spaces on the internet and making sure governments have the right framework for internet governance,” he said.


“Most people get their information now from social media and traditional media is now trying to catch up.

“We need to ensure there are safe spaces on the internet for the citizens. Issues of internet governance, internet shutdowns, internet manipulation by the government and data laws need to be examined.

“We believe governments in Africa are doing well in terms of internet governance and digitalisation, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t more to be done. A lot more resources need to be put into it.”



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