FG gives update on discussion with Twitter over ban

The federal government says the suspension on operations in Nigeria will be lifted soon.

This is according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lal Mohammed, while answering questions on the matter during a press briefing at the State House after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He revealed that most of the conditions given to the platform have been accepted, adding that Twitter has agreed to set up an office in Nigeria, but the company maintained that the earliest it can happen is 2022.

The minister said: “I want to say that the end for an amicable solution is very much in sight. We quite appreciate the anxiety of Nigerians who have been worried that two months after the suspension, we’ve not been able to finalise talks, but I just want to assure you that we have made tremendous progress,” he said.

“We set up a technical committee to engage Twitter; they set up their own committee too. Apart from dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, we’re actually almost there. I don’t want to say that the engagement has been extremely positive, devoid of any acrimony. As a matter of fact, it is to the credit of Twitter that they admitted that they’ve never received any kind of informed or detailed or professional communication from any country as they have received from us. Not only did they promise that they were going to look into it, but we made very clear what we wanted from Twitter.

“One of the conditions that we set was that Twitter, in line with Nigeria’s Companies and Allied Matters Act, should establish presence in Nigeria with registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission. We believe that it’s important that Twitter should have a company representative who is high up, so that he/she can take complaints directly from Nigeria to Twitter. We also asked that, in addition to registering the Nigerian company, Twitter must also register with relevant regulatory authorities like NIPDA, like NCC, broadcasting commission.

“Fourthly, we asked that Twitter shall be mandated to retain designated local agents to manage its engagement with federal government operations in Nigeria. We also asked Twitter to commit itself to working with the federal Inland Revenue Service. We also proposed to Twitter that we should agree on a charter of online conduct for content management.”

Furthermore, the minister expressed confidence that everything will be ironed out with Twitter within a few days or weeks while acknowledging the anxiety that has been shown by Nigerians.

He also revealed that the federal government’s committee negotiating with Twitter will soon meet to make recommendations.

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