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Lai: Twitter to open Nigerian office within first quarter of 2022

Lai: Twitter to open Nigerian office within first quarter of 2022
February 20
10:21 2022

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says Twitter will open its Nigerian office within the first quarter of 2022.

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”.

In August, the information minister said the conditions given to the microblogging platform have been accepted, adding that Twitter has agreed to set up an office in Nigeria.

The president approved the lifting of the suspension on Twitter in January.

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Speaking during a radio programme on Saturday, Mohammed said the agreements reached with Twitter will be extended to other social media platforms to ensure only “wholesome contents” are posted.

“We are going to regulate the social media not because we want to stifle the media or we want to violate the right of expression. We want to ensure that only wholesome contents are available on social media,” the minister said.

“Recently, we were all shocked when an 18-year old boy accused of killing his 21-year old girlfriend for money rituals confessed that he leant the diabolical act on social media. The teenager, in collaboration with his friends, cut off the head of the victim and were burning it in a pot when they were apprehended.

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“The government has the responsibility to ensure that social media platforms are responsible and the contents they displayed were not harmful to young people as well as the unity of the country.

“Twitter also agreed to comply with all payable taxes, as they are operating under Nigerian laws and this they agreed to do within one week of restoring their operations. Twitter agreed to immediately work with the federal government in the area of code of conduct that are in line with global best practices

“Twitter agreed to immediately enrol Nigerians in its law enforcement portals and partners support portal. The law enforcement portal will provide dedicated channels for the Nigerian law enforcement agencies to escalate reports on content that violate the code of conduct or national laws.

“Similarly, the partner support portal provides a direct channel for government to engage Twitter staff to manage prohibited contents.”

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The minister reiterated that relevant laws and the broadcasting code would be amended to ensure that the agreements reached with Twitter would be applicable to other social media platforms.

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