Nigeria’s President Has Announced The Country’s Twitter Ban Will Be Lifted Only If The Tech Giant Accepts His Terms And Conditions
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the lifting of the Twitter ban – only if the firm meets his conditions, including paying tax and setting up a local office.
The president disclosed his list of conditions during his televised broadcast to Nigerians on the country’s 61st Independence Day anniversary.
“Following the extensive engagements, the issues are being addressed, and I have directed that the suspension be lifted but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens to continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements,” he said.
The president added that ten requests had been made since he banned the social app earlier this year.
Still, the government only reached an agreement with Twitter on seven — the other issues yet to be sorted out include Twitter setting up a local office, paying tax locally, and cooperating with the Nigerian government to regulate content and harmful tweets.
Nigeria’s information minister Lai Mohammed set up a committee to address the government’s issues with Twitter, reported Tech Crunch.
They discussed other issues with Twitter, including national security and cohesion, registration, physical presence and representation, fair taxation, dispute resolution, and local content.
Its been widely reported that if Twitter agrees to meet these requirements posed by the government, the ban will be lifted.
Why did the Nigerian government suspend Twitter in the first place?
In June, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter after the company deleted a controversial post from the president threatening to punish regional secessionists.
Many users could not access the site after mobile phone networks blocked access under orders from the government.
At the time – Buhari also criticized the app for deleting the post saying: “The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspicious,” adding that the firm had previously ignored inciting tweets against the country’s government.”
There are an estimated 40 million Twitter users in Nigeria. According to the Associated Press, many have been finding a way around the ban by turning to virtual private networks apps to access the social media platform.
The government’s decision to suspend Twitter was being widely condemned by users across the globe, including Nigerians in the UK, as they said the social media app had allowed those abroad to exercise their human rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and access to information.
Amnesty International echoed this and also condemned the Nigerian government’s suspension.
“We call on the Nigerian authorities to immediately reverse the unlawful suspension and other plans to gag the media, repress the civic space, and undermine Nigerians’ human rights,” Amnesty said in a statement.