In these days when people practically live online, finding in the internet a vast, endless world of limitless possibilities, the space has simply become indispensable.
Indeed, for many people, as a result of the demands of an intricately woven and interconnected world,to live without the internet is simply unimaginable.
For people all over the world, in this time and age of globalization where information is everything, access to the internet has become as integral to their wellbeing as the air they breathe.
For many others, the internet has become key to the quality of life they lead and even the enjoyment of their rights as full and participatory citizens of the world.
It is not to dismiss many of the drawbacks of unbridled communication and unchecked and unprecedented access to countless people on the internet at any one time, but despite the clear and apparent danger, it remains beyond argument that the internet has redefined the way people live and access information.
Nigeria has not always had a smooth journey on its road to natiohood. A country set up to struggle has found the going tough in its bid to make the most of its staggering diversity,the battle against all kinds of barriers has been a fascinating one.
In recent years, insecurity has emerged as one of the most formidable barriers to Nigeria’s progress as a country.
In its desperate bid to check insecurity thereby guaranteeing the safety of its citizens and their properties, the Nigerian government has often sought to identify threats to it’s national security and attempt to nullify them.
It has not always been successful or free from controversy. In recent times, many of those threats have been spread on the internet, especially in its use by those who by sowing chaos seek to seed conflict and endanger millions.
This approach has often informed the legislations and policies that have often gone into curbing internet freedom in Nigeria.
However, in spite of these challenges, Nigeria has continued to make impressive strides when the subject is internet freedom.
According to Proxyrack, a data collection company, Nigeria is one of the countries with the most internet freedom in the world.
By a recently published report which painted a grim picture of internet freedom around the world,the company ranked Nigeria 10th on the list of countries with the most internet freedom in the world.
The report bearing the ranking took into abundant consideration the level of internet freedom enjoyed by citizens including the extent to which they face restrictions on the content they can access.
While noting that internet freedom is on the decline globally, the report impressively ranked Nigeria 10th behind only the UK, Japan, Germany, United States, France, Italy, Brazil, the Phillipines and Mexico.
It is nice to see Nigeria in such elite company for a change. Given the extortionate cost of ignorance, and just how vital information has become to the world of today,the internet has become a critical resource in nation building.
It is even better viewing to see the distance Nigeria managed to keep in the rankings from countries like Iran, Egypt, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Turkey, Russia and Indonesia where internet restrictions remain scandalously high.
Efforts must continue to improve what is already an impressive showing.
Kene Obiezu, Esq