The federal government has reportedly earmarked N4.8 billion for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to monitor WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging application, and Thuraya, a satellite telephone.
The provision is contained in the supplementary 2021 budget passed by the national assembly.
Lawmakers had approved and passed a supplementary budget of N982 billion for the 2021 fiscal year.
Nigeria’s lawmakers are also working on a raft of bills aimed at regulating the media. Some of these bills include the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act and the Press Council Act.
President Buhari’s government also recently banned social media platform Twitter, as it continues to canvass support for the regulation of the online and mainstream media space in Africa’s most populous nation.