Nigeria Reinstates Twitter After Seven Months


Nigeria “indefinitely suspended” Twitter‘s operations in the country on June 4 last year after the company deleted President Buhari’s controversial tweet.  The country accused Twitter of using its micro-blogging platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Seven months later, the country has now lifted the Twitter ban.  The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi, announced the lifting of the suspension in a statement saying president Buhari had given the approval to lift the suspension.

Kashifu Abdullahi was the chairman of the committee set up by the Nigerian government to oversee talks between the country and Twitter after the ban.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12am tonight, 13th January 2022.’’  “The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim. In the Memo, the minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation,” he added. Abdullahi’s statement said Twitter has ‘’…agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgment of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built…,”

It added that the company would 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,” it said. The statement also said that Twitter had agreed to comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law. ‘’It has agreed to enroll Nigeria in its Partner Support and Law Enforcement Portals,” the statement read.

Twitter in a tweet posted on its public policy handle welcomed the lifting of the ban saying ‘’…Our mission in Nigeria and around the world, is to serve the public conversation.‘’ ‘’We are deeply committed to Nigeria, where Twitter is used by people for commerce, cultural engagement, and civic participation,’’ it added.

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