Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has explained the reason for the increase in the fine for hate speech from N500,000 (five hundred thousand naira) to N5,000,000 (five million naira), saying that it was to stop people from willingly violating the provision to destabilise the country.
The Minister, who spoke when he appeared on Television Continental (TVC), live Programme, “This Morning”, on Friday, stated that the hate speech provision was being violated at will when the fine was pegged at N500,000 because it was affordable.
Mohammed said: “What motivated the amendment was that when the fine was N500,000 we saw the provision being violated at will because the amount was very easy to pay.”
Recall that the minister in 2019 announced the approval Nigerian Ruler, Muhammadu Buhari for the increase of the fine which was later stipulated in the amended Broadcasting Code.
He noted that those attacking the regime over the increase must remember that hate speech had destroyed many countries.
The Minister stated that Rwanda lost 800,000 lives to hate speech while Bosnia and Cambodia equally lost thousands of lives to the menace.
He said: “The sanction in Norway is up to two years imprisonment while South Africa separated hate speech from the protection their citizens can get from the constitution.”