On 5th June 2021, the FGN suspended the operation of Twitter through an announcement made by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alh Lai Mohammed.
The government announced the suspension of the social media platform in June 2021, after it deleted a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari. The government also accused Twitter of working against Nigeria’s interest.
Thereafter, the President constituted a seven-man Presidential Committee to engage Twitter Inc. Subsequently, the Presidential Committee set a 20-member Technical Committee comprising all relevant government agencies. The Technical Committee engaged and worked directly with the Twitter team.
Since the suspension, millions of Twitter users have been unable to use the social media platform in Nigeria unless they use a Virtual Private Network
Now, in an official statement the Federal government announced that the Twitter ban has been lifted.
The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi, announced the lifting of the suspension in a statement.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12am tonight, 13th January 2022.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim.
“In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation,” the official said.
The following are the resolutions agreed with Twitter. Inc.:
i. Twitter has committed to establishing a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022. The legal entity will register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The establishment of the entity is Twitter’s first step in demonstrating its long-term commitment to Nigeria.
ii. Twitter has agreed to appoint a designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities. The Global Public Policy team is also directly available through a dedicated communication channel.
iii. Twitter has agreed to comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law.
iv. Twitter has agreed to enrol Nigeria in its Partner Support and Law Enforcement Portals. The Partner Support Portal provides a direct channel for government officials and Twitter staff to manage prohibited content that violates Twitter community rules. At the same time, the Law Enforcement Portal provides a channel for the law enforcement agencies to submit a report with a legal justification where it suspects that content violates Nigerian Laws. Taken together, these represent a comprehensive compliance apparatus.
v. Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built and work with the FGN and the broader industry to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries.
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