Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Buhari poised to lift Twitter ban

Millions of Twitter users may soon have access to the popular social media platform after it met the six conditions imposed on it by the Federal Government.

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

The President is also awaiting the report of the committee to lift the ban it imposed on Twitter on June 4, last year.

It was learnt that the President has agreed in principle that Twitter’s social networking operation be restored in Nigeria, six months after the suspension was announced.

This is amid reports that the government plans to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act to include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms

As per TheNation, below are the conditions agreed to by Twitter

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

A source told TheNation 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.

“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.

“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.”

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