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Nigerian government spells new regulation for social media platforms. Will compliance work?

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The Nigerian government wants social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Tiktok to be locally registered and open offices in Nigeria and appoint contact persons with the government.

The latest move by the government at regulating social media is part of the new draft regulations from the National information technology development agency published on Monday.

According to a statement by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the new code of practice for “interactive computer service platforms/internet intermediaries” is meant to curb online abuse, including disinformation and misinformation.

The new code stipulates that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and others must “provide information to authorities on harmful accounts, suspected botnets, troll groups, and other coordinated disinformation networks and delete any information that violates Nigerian law within an agreed time.”

Recall that Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, last month said the country is monitoring Meta Platforms Inc., owners of Facebook and other platforms to ensure they comply with demands to curtail hate speech on their sites.

Nigeria under President Buhari has a record of guarding free speech. Recall that from 5 June 2021 to 13 January 2022, the government of Nigeria officially banned and restricted micro-blogging site, Twitter from operating in the country. The Nigeria government had said the ban was based on “a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real-world violent consequences”

Although the conditions for the implementation of the code are yet to be fully implemented, the government said social media platforms must comply with the “new code” for continued operation in Nigeria.

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Airtel Africa signs a $125 million credit deal with American bank, Citi

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Telecommunication giant, Airtel Africa has signed a $125 million credit deal with American multinational investment bank, Citi through its branch offices/subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. 

According to a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary the credit “…facility is in line with our strategy to raise debt in our local operating companies and will include both local currency and US dollar denominated debt.”

The facility has a tenor up to September 2024 and will be used to support Airtel Africa’s operations and investments in four of its subsidiaries.

“The facility provides potential interest rate savings in exchange for achieving social impact milestones relating to digital inclusion and gender diversity, with a focus on rural areas and women, and aligning with the Group’s sustainability strategy launched in October 2021…”

A report by Nairametrics says Airtel’s net profit grew by 25.26% in the fiscal quarter of 2023, and 27% of the company’s FY 2022 earnings, broadly due to higher finance costs and regulatory/government policy changes in the Nigerian segment of the company’s business.

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Female Nigerian robotics engineer invents smart bra that can detect breast cancer

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A female robotics engineer in Nigeria, Bolarinwa Kemisola, has invented a smart bra that has the capability of detecting breast cancer in its early stages.

Kemisola who announced the feat on Friday, said the new device can help in the “fight against breast cancer in Nigeria where an estimated 17,000 women die of the disease every year.”

The smart bra, according to the scientist, contains a total of 14 sensors connected to a USB outlet through cables, with the system, including a phone application where the procedure can be followed and monitored.

She stated that she was inspired to devote herself to finding a solution to breast cancer on the day her aunt died died of the disease.

The cancer detecting bra (Photo Credit: Tech Trend Africa)

The cancer detecting bra (Photo Credit: Tech Trend Africa)

Following the advice of several healthcare professionals and scientists, she said she began work on the first prototype in February 2021.

The new device, according to Kemisola, will also help in raising awareness about breast cancer in Africa where a data by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 74,000 women died of breast cancer in Africa in 2020 alone.

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