(Twitter Ban) Suspension of the Twitter operations in Nigeria has been lifted by their president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), effective from 12 am, January 13, 2022
This was disclosed in a press statement on Wednesday signed by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency and Chairman of Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
The statement read in part, “The Federal Government of Nigeria directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12 am tonight, January 13, 2022.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami.”
Why the Earlier Twitter Ban
According to him, the suspension was the result of certain unscrupulous people using the site for subversive and criminal reasons, spreading fake news, and polarizing Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines, among other things.
Abdullahi said issues bordering on national security, cohesion, and the effects of the abuse of the Twitter platform forced the government to suspend the operation of Twitter to address the direct and collateral issues around its operations in Nigeria.
He went on to remark that the process of resolving the impasse between the FGN and Twitter Inc. helped to create the basis for a mutually beneficial future with infinite possibilities.
“The FGN has ordered Twitter to fulfill specific requirements before reinstating its services,” according to the statement. In accordance with Nigerian regulations, these criteria addressed the legal registration of activities, taxation, and the management of forbidden publications.
“Twitter has agreed to satisfy all of the FGN’s demands.” As a result, the FGN and Twitter have agreed on a timeframe for execution, which began this week. Our collaboration with Twitter ushers in a new chapter in global digital diplomacy and establishes a new operational blueprint for Twitter to return stronger for the benefit of Nigerians.”
According to the FG, the resolutions reached with Twitter include the formation of a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022, which would be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, and the appointment of a designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities.
“Twitter has committed to comply with applicable tax requirements on its activities under Nigerian law, and has agreed to include Nigeria in its Partner Support and Law Enforcement Portals,” the statement continued.
“The Partner Support Portal provides a direct path for government officials and Twitter personnel to monitor banned content that breaches Twitter community guidelines,” it stated. At the same time, the Law Enforcement Portal allows law enforcement authorities to file a complaint with a legal explanation when they feel that content violates Nigerian laws.”
According to Abdullahi, the FGN removed the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria on January 13, 2022, at midnight, based on the agreements, and advised users to maintain ethical behavior and desist from disseminating divisive, hazardous, and disagreeable content on the network.