Restriction and non-restriction of internet in my country Nigeria: A freedom and a curse.
Here is a writing contest by @upmewhale stating how we should write about the state of internet in our country explaining if it's been restricted or not.To know more about this contest, kindly read it here.
Since the beginning of 21st century there has been rapid increase in the growth of technology in the world.We can see both the positive and negative effect of this growth.There has been a change in our outlook of life and it has also added to the way we do and act behind the facade called internet.Internet has given us an avenue to stay connected on the happenings around the world, a means to get first hand information and also an avenue to communicate with people all around the world.
According to the public report, my country Nigeria is the largest place that has internet users in Sub-Saharan Africa.Almost 90% of its citizens have access to internet.This growth can be related to the existence of mobile phones because almost all of my country's citizens are addicted to mobiles that is open to internet.
The internet in my country is centralised because it is owned by private organisations.We have the option of mobile network/internet or broadband internet.The mobile internet is attached to our local mobile communication operations and examples are GLOBACOM,MTN,AIRTEL,9MOBILE and NTEL.All this network's are of 4G LTE services.
We have so many broad bands over here and the most popular being Spectranet,smile,Maineone and Tizeti among many others
GOVERNMENT THOUGHTS ON INTERNET PRESENTLY
The government is starting to see how the internet has a huge impact in the way of life of a country and with this in mind the government is starting to wake up to implement some rules and law that will prevent internet danger in the country and that might also create a division amongst its citizens.
Well,to the main point restriction or non-restriction of the internet. I personally feel we are in the middle of that now.The government is yet to decide if it is to restrict our internet usage or to leave us be.Meanwhile lots of background work has been going on relating to this restriction because there are regulatory bodies guiding the media in my country which is called the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).This body have the right to stop a media house or communication firm to stop work.They have sole authority over the internet and the media platforms in Nigeria.With this in place there is a form of censorship over what gives and what takes in the country.All social media platforms are allowed but some websites are restricted.
Now we have to be careful on what and how we post things on our social media pages because a bill had been passed about prosecuting anybody found guilty of hate speech on the internet and the punishment is death.This bill is still in our House of Senate(National Assembly..NASS) which is the highest tier of government when it comes to law making.It is our legislative house where rules and constitution are been made and decided.
THE NEED FOR RESTRICTION OF INTERNET BY THE GOVERNMENT
- Firstly, Africa is also one of the biggest link in the online criminal activity.Daily we here of different scams and arrest made on them.Censoring and restricting the internet according to the government is another way to eradicate this crime.
Secondly,Internet has reduced communication and interaction among friends and loved ones.Social life relationship has turned to zero because people would prefer to send a direct message or tweet at you rather than check on you like we do in the traditional days.This act has increased heinous crimes like rape, kidnapping, robbery and all sort in the country.Internet has given the people the liberty to show off what they do not have in which it helps invite unwanted attention and visitors into one's life or home.In other words, it helps induce crimes and violent behaviour from racism to sexim.
Thirdly, internet has help spread and increased a lot of diseases amongst my country mate.People would rather post about their suicide online than talk to a professional about it.So many people has fallen into depression due to negative comments and online bullies.Sitting behind a keyboard to bully people who you know nothing about has become the order of the day in our present time.So many people are a victim of suicidal thoughts and committing suicide due to this.Having internet gives people the liberty to help make decisions concerning one's life.It has given room to hackers and cyber thieves to swindle people of their life savings and money.
Lastly, censoring of some websites will make parents and guardians focus on their ward or children and will also help limit immoral acts in the country.
MY VIEW ON WHY THERE SHOULD NOT BE A RESTRICTION OF THE INTERNET IN MY COUNTRY
Charity cuts across all nation and country, it has no language nor barrier than giving.Some charity depends on internet to grow and work,if by any chance there is a restriction to our internet, there will be a decrease in this movement.People won't be motivated to contribute or give because there will be lack of trust.There is a saying that the internet never forgets,and there is a record of all activities either past or present,this same internet helps us to know the good and the bad charity and also about the person who has decided to donate.
The internet helps create awareness amongst people and helps us spread information faster than phone calls.In cases of emergency, the internet helps us to publicise things to prevent danger and untimely death.For instance during the time of the dangerous ebola virus,it was the internet that helped my country look out for the victim who ran away from his country in other to spread this deadly disease.It saved my country from heartache and death toll.There were able to apprehend the victim before it gets out of hand.
The citizen of my country Nigeria sees internet as an avenue to challenge authority by using this medium to voice out things like corruption,unjust,change either in our political or social life.Internet is the platform for the people in my country to cry for help.This is also the biggest weapon we hold as a citizen of a democratic country and the government are starting to realise this power which is why they are beginning to raise questions about which areas and social media platform to censor and restrict us.
I wonder how life used to be before the internet but then it came and brighten our world and at the same time gave it some dark cloud.Restricting or not restricting, what will be will be at the end of the day.Through this same internet jobs have been made available and easier to communicate to people, also it is an avenue to learn and unlearn cultures and ways of life of others.Internet brings growth faster than the traditional ways can.People hardly write letter anymore rather email is more efficient and faster.Internet has saved many lives from disaster in the sense that we do not have to cry over property fire and loss of document when we have everything perfectly saved in the cloud.Internet is freedom but it comes with a price.