Business

FG lifts suspension on Twitter operations

Author:
Aderemi Ojekunle

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the lifting of the suspension on the Twitter operations in Nigeria.

The lifting will be effective from midnight January 13, 2022, according to a statement from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The statement signed by Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director-general, NITDA, added that the approval followed a memo written to the president by Isa Ali Ibrahim, minister of communications and digital economy.

In June 2021, the federal government announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operation after the platform deleted tweets made by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had threatened to treat members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the “language they understand”.

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It had attributed the suspension to “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The government said it reached an amicable resolution with Twitter on various terms and conditions given to the micro-blogging platform.

“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,” the statement reads.

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“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.

“Twitter has agreed to comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law.

“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.”

The statement further stated that the micro-blogging site 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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