Nigeria Lifts Suspension on Twitter After 7 Months

Nigeria is set to lift a ban on Twitter starting Jan. 13, after the social media giant agreed to certain conditions to resume operations.

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general of the country’s National Information Technology Development Agency said that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had given approval to lift the suspension.

“Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built,” Abdullahi said in a statement. “Therefore, the [federal government] lifts the suspension of the Twitter operations in Nigeria from midnight of 13th January 2022.”

“Our action is a deliberate attempt to recalibrate our relationship with Twitter to achieve the maximum mutual benefits for our nation without jeopardizing the justified interests of the company,” he added. “Our engagement has been very respectful, cordial, and successful.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Twitter, a U.S.-based company, was suspended by the Nigerian government on June 4, 2021, after the social media giant took down a post from Buhari that threatened to treat regional secessionists “in the language they will understand.”

Telecoms companies subsequently blocked access to users in Nigeria, which has a population of over 200 million.

Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed said at the time the government had blocked Twitter access because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

In August, Mohammed said the government had reached agreements on seven of 10 requests made to Twitter but was waiting for the company’s response on final issues, including setting up a local office, paying tax locally, and cooperating with the government to regulate content and harmful tweets.

In resuming operations, Twitter agreed to work with the Nigerian government and the broader industry “to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries,” according to Abdullahi’s statement reads.

Abdullahi said Twitter also agreed to appoint a country representative to engage with Nigerian authorities and comply with local tax obligations.

Twitter furthermore agreed to set “a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022.” According to the statement, the move to establish a legal entity would signify Twitter’s “first step in demonstrating its long-term commitment to Nigeria.”

Twitter previously set up its first presence in Africa last April, when it announced it was building a team in Ghana.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times