Abuja – The African Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give presidential assent to the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill.
President Muhammadu Buhari display a sign for 4+4 to join Legislators who supported his re-election bid as he addressed a joint session of the National Assembly for the the presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill at the National Assembly, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 19/12/2018
Mr Peter Akinyemi, ACSIS West Africa Regional Coordinator, made the appeal in an interview in Abuja on Friday.
NAN reports that the bill was transmitted to the president on Feb. 5, by the National Assembly.
Akinyemi said timely assent to the bill would protect rights of every Nigerian on the internet and strengthen the security within the nation’s cyber space.
According to him, this digital rights and freedom bill will effectively protect the rights of Nigerians on the internet and in the digital environment.
“It will also attract investments when the investors see that the environment is safe.
“The bill will provide a comprehensive framework for the advancement, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet.
“This is very necessary in consistence with Nigeria’s regional and international obligations under various international human rights instruments,’’ he said.
Akinyemi also called on the Federal Government “to priotise ICT, come up with workable and inclusive framework and policies and strive for more PPP engagements.”
According to the regional coordinator, this will create enabling environment for the technology sector and ensure that government services are driven in a digital economy.
He said ACSIS, which was established in 2003 as a Pan-African civil society organisation, has membership of over 500 around the world.
NAN reports that the bill, which has been in the National Assembly since 2016, was passed by both Senate and House of Representatives in 2018. (NAN)