A case for regulating internet usage in Nigeria

by | Apr 15, 2017

Photo Credit: ZICTA / michael pollak via Compfight cc

These past three weeks have been quite an emotional roller-coaster for anyone who uses the internet in Nigeria.

Just this Tuesday, two teenage boys who had been arraigned for gang-raping a teenage girl, were released on bail, their case adjourned till the 17th of May. Apparently, one of the boys has been Facebook friends with the victim for 2 years. She was eventually invited to pay a visit, to which she obliged innocently.

This brings to light the recently concluded murder case of Cynthia Osokogu, who in 2012 found herself in a similar situation but wasn’t as lucky. Perhaps there is a lesson to learn here; your Facebook friends could do you more harm than good.


Just when we thought we had enough for the week, on Wednesday, we broke news of the murder of an Uber driver who was strangled to death by two passengers. Interestingly, Uber was quick to issue a rather insensitive disclaimer.

There seems to be a growing trend of internet-related violence. Only two weeks ago, a Jumia delivery partner was murdered over 2 iPhones.

Perhaps it is time we seriously considered regulating internet usage in Nigeria? That’s a debate for another day.

This week on Techpoint

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But what if the Nigerian internet got shut down? Say we agree that regulating internet usage is not feasible, could we say the same for an outright shut down?

It’s been almost 90 days since the internet was shut down in anglophone Cameroon. The action was a reprisal of sorts by the Francophone government for the people’s protest against its allegedly bias rule.

Before we delve into the political implications of this move, let’s just imagine, for argument sake, that the Nigerian internet met the same fate. Here’s what would happen.

The race is not for the swift. In February 2017, Nigeria became the first country to officially endorse the A4AI’s affordable internet initiative. “1 for2”, as it is called, the initiative stipulates that 1GB of data be sold for at most 2% of minimum wage.


As it turns out, 5 African countries have finally implemented the initiative; Nigeria is not one of them.

Banks of all trades, masters of none. Nigeria banks are expected to play the primary role of an intermediary within the financial system.

However, in recent times, most Nigerian banks seem to be setting themselves up as competitors to the very businesses they’re supposed to be supporting.

In Nifemi Akinwamide’s opinion, this trend poses a serious threat to the growth of entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

Tayo, the man. In spite of these perceived obstacles, here’s one man who is sort of sticking it to Nigerian banks. His name is Tayo Oviosu and he runs and owns Paga, a financial services company.

With an 11,000-strong agent network, Paga has wider reach than all the banks in Nigeria combined. Tayo shares with Techpoint his entrepreneurial journey to bringing financial access to the masses.

Prominent Nigerian startups that started from the university Decades ago, a world led by young disruptors and innovators would have been difficult to imagine. However, institutions of learning (especially those with strong ICT entrepreneurship curricular) are starting to provide a level playing ground to compete with the older generation.

We compiled a list of 8 prominent Nigerian startups (some of them valued at millions of dollars) that kicked off from within the 4 walls of the university.

The Eazi way; from tech to music success. If you were to single out only one lesson from Tosin Ajibade’s (aka Mr Eazi) improbable success in music after his brief stint as a tech founder, it will be that the lessons of building a startup are transferable.

Startup Weekly

Every weekday at 9AM (West African Time), we feature up and coming startups looking to break into the Nigerian tech scene.

This week’s featured startups

Consumer Weekly

Tecno PhonePad 3 review: Doing business and staying mobile Coming after the PhonePad 7E is the new Tecno PhonePad 3 that claims to allow you do business while staying mobile. But does it live up to its claim?

This post is an extract from our weekly newsletter. If you would like to receive summaries like this every week in your email box, you can subscribe here

Múyìwá Mátùlúkò
Múyìwá Mátùlúkò

Chief Servant. I bully myself because I make me do what I put my mind to.

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