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Twitter reportedly meets all FG's conditions, ban to be lifted soon

The Technical Committee set-up by the government to resolve the impasse is making a final recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Jack Dorsey and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.  (PG)

Social media company Twitter, has met the six conditions handed to it by the Federal Government of Nigeria, The Nation newspaper is reporting.

The Buhari-led federal government suspended the operations of Twitter in June of 2021, after the company deleted one of President Muhammadu Buhari's tweets for violating its platform rules, following reports from multiple users.

The Nation reports that the Technical Committee put together by the government to resolve the impasse between the two parties is fine-tuning the offers by Twitter before making a final recommendation to President Buhari.

The president is also awaiting the report of the committee to lift the ban.

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The president has also agreed in principle that Twitter be restored in Nigeria, according to the story.

There are also indications that the government plans to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act to include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

The conditions Twitter have met are:

  1. Open an office in Nigeria
  2. Have a country representative
  3. Register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)/get National Broadcasting Commission’s licence
  4. Payment of fair taxes
  5. Sensitive to national security and cohesion. It must not undermine the nation’s security
  6. Train Nigerian IT personnel and strategic intelligence officers on how to report twitter abuse /infractions noticed by the government.

The newspaper quotes a source as saying that: “From the records, Twitter has finally met six conditions set by the Federal Government for the lifting of the ban on its service in Nigeria as at the close of business in 2021.

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“The operation of Twitter will now be fully regulated, including opening of office and deployment of a Country Representative. We can now hold an officer responsible for any infraction.

“Twitter only requested that the Federal Government should allow it to open the office in 2022 because there was no provision for it in its last year’s budget. Since we are in a new year, we are expecting that the office will take off soon.

“With payment of taxes, we are hopeful that the government will earn enhanced revenue from Twitter. This ban has helped to correct the lapses of the past. For instance, Twitter has been raking huge cash from Nigeria without legal backing and compliance with our revenue laws.

“Although it was alleged that Nigerians have lost over N6billion to the ban but the Federal Government has lost much more in revenue.

“In spite of recourse to VPN by some users in Nigeria, Twitter revenue slumped considerably because this alternative does not fetch income to it.

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“Now, the era of impunity is gone. Twitter must register with CAC and operate in Nigeria as a business concern which it is in other parts of the world.”

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed has repeatedly stated that the Twitter ban will be lifted soon.

On Independence Day, President Buhari ordered the conditional lifting of the ban.

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