THE Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has called on President Bola Tinubu, to ensure that citizens’ digital rights are protected as he takes over the affairs of the country.
This was just as the body said that the digital space in Nigeria is currently facing a number of challenges, which are having a negative impact on the digital rights of Nigerian citizens
According to the CITAD Digital Rights Officer, Ali Sabo, who disclosed this at a press conference on Wednesday, noted that as we are all aware, digital rights have become an increasingly important issue in the world and Nigeria in particular in recent years.
Sabo recalled that the Center in March, has also called the attention of the Nigerian Police Force against the arbitrary arrest of citizens on the order of some overzealous politicians who misused their offices to trample on the fundamental human rights of the citizens.
He disclosed that “With the rise of digital technologies and the internet, Artificial Intelligence, more and more people are relying on digital platforms to communicate, access information, conduct businesses and engage with other individuals on a daily basis”.
“The new administration in Nigeria needs to set a comprehensive data protection legislation that will regulate the collection, use, and sharing of personal data by public and private entities. We are calling on the president to prioritize passing of the Digital Rights and Freedoms Bill which will protect citizens’ privacy and prevent abuse of personal data.
“The president should ensure that Nigerians have the right to access and share information freely online without censorship, intimidation, or harassment. Also, his government need to work towards creating an enabling environment for online expression and digital journalism, protecting whistleblowers, and strengthening mechanisms for transparency and accountability.
“The increasing use of digital technologies in Nigeria has poses more risk for people who become victims of cyber threats and attacks. There is need for the new administration to work towards strengthening cybersecurity measures to ensure the safety and security of citizens’ online activities and prevent cybercrime.
“Another aspect the new administration should focus on is digital literacy as there is a significant digital divide in Nigeria, with many people lacking basic digital literacy skills, we could see this with the introduction of cashless policy in the country. There is need for the government to prioritize investment in digital education initiatives to provide citizens with the necessary skills to participate in the digital economy and benefit from the opportunities presented by emerging technologies.
He further disclosed that there were Internet shutdowns: There have been instances where the government has ordered the shutdown of the Internet and social media.
CITAD further “All of these are having a detrimental effect on the digital rights of Nigerians, including the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy, the right to association online, and the right to access information.
”As an organization, CITAD is working on the area of human rights protection and digital rights, we deem it necessary to draw the attention of the new administration in Nigeria to as a matter of urgency and public interest to do the following”.