BY Victor Ejechi
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the lifting of the suspension on the Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The lifting, according to a statement signed by Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), will be effective from midnight, January 13, 2022.
In June 2021, the government announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operation in Nigeria 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.
Three months ago, the president said he had directed that Twitter suspension be lifted — only if the conditions are met to allow citizens to use the platform for positive engagements.
Some of the conditions include legal registration of operations, taxation, and managing prohibited publications in line with Nigerian laws.
While announcing the lifting of the ban, the government noted that Twitter has agreed to meet the set out conditions.
REGISTRATION OF TWITTER WITH THE CAC
One of the conditions given by the federal government is that the social media giant must register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria.
The statement added that Twitter has agreed to register with the CAC.
“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 statement reads.
“The establishment of the entity is Twitter’s first step in demonstrating its long-term commitment to Nigeria.”
APPOINTMENT OF COUNTRY REP
The government also noted that Twitter would 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 WILL PAY TAX
The statement noted that the micro-blogging platform has agreed to comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law.
ENROL NIGERIAN OFFICIALS TO MANAGE PROHIBITED CONTENT
The federal government said the company also agreed to enrol Nigeria in its Partner Support and Law Enforcement Portals.
According to the statement, the portal will provide a direct channel for government officials and Twitter staff to manage prohibited content that violates Twitter community rules.
Additionally, the portal will provide a channel for the law enforcement agencies to submit a report with a legal justification on content that violates Nigerian Laws.
TO PLAY BY NIGERIA RULES AND CULTURE
The government said Twitter also agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws, national culture and history on which such legislation has been built.
The platform will work with the federal government and the broader industry to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries.