House C’ttee Seeks Urgent Measures to Protect Nigerian Children Online

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Justice, Olumide Osoba, yesterday said measures must be urgently adopted to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children on the internet.

While declaring open a public hearing on the bill, he said the safety and wellbeing of children in the digital age should be of utmost priority.

“The internet has undoubtedly revolutionised our society, connecting people from all walks of life and providing countless opportunities for learning, growth and entertainment.

“However, it also brings with it risk, particularly for the vulnerable minds and has unfortunately given rise to various forms of violence, including cyber bullying, harassment, and even exploitation.

“As responsible members of this society, it is our duty to ensure that our children are shielded from such harm,” he said.

The lawmaker added that the proposed bill not only acknowledges the potential danger online violence poses to the youth, but also aims to put effective measures in place to prevent and address such incidents.

“By setting up regulations to restrict access to harmful content, imposing stricter penalties for perpetrators, and promoting digital literacy programmes, we can create a safer online environment for our children to explore and thrive in,” he added.

He further said that the bill not only focuses on protection but also embraces the importance of fostering responsible digital citizenship.

“By empowering our children with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the online world safely we can actively engage them in their own protection.

“This bill demonstrates an understanding that prevention and awareness are equally essential components in countering online violence,” he said.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, said parents must do everything possible to ensure that their children are protected.

The speaker who was represented by Hon Usman Kumo said the bill was straightforward and seeks legislation to ensure all hands are on deck in protecting the child from being harmed.

“The protection of children on the internet cannot be overemphasised because we are in a digital world. We must key into global best practices and our children must not be exposed to an extent where some people take advantage of them in abusing them,” he said.

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