Nigeria’s Twitter ban was lifted after 222 days
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the lifting of the Twitter ban in Nigeria 222 days after he ordered the suspension of the micro-blogging platform’s operations.
The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, announced this on Wednesday night. He said the Twitter ban would be lifted by midnight on January 13, 2022.
According to Abdullahi, the Twitter ban was lifted after the company’s management agreed to a set of terms and conditions laid down by the Nigerian government. Buhari approved the lifting following a memo written to him by Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy.
Twitter’s agreement with the Nigerian government
- Twitter has committed to establishing a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022. The legal entity will register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The establishment of the entity is Twitter’s first step in demonstrating its long-term commitment to Nigeria.
- Twitter has agreed to appoint a designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities. The Global Public Policy team is also directly available through a dedicated communication channel.
- Twitter has agreed to comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law.
- Twitter has agreed to enrol Nigeria in its Partner Support and Law Enforcement Portals. The Partner Support Portal provides a direct channel for government officials and Twitter staff to manage prohibited content that violates Twitter community rules. At the same time, the Law Enforcement Portal provides a channel for the law enforcement agencies to submit a report with a legal justification where it suspects that content violates Nigerian Laws. Taken together, these represent a comprehensive compliance apparatus.
- Twitter agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built and work with the FGN and the broader industry to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries.
Why Twitter was banned in Nigeria
The Nigerian government suspended Twitter operations in the country indefinitely in June 2021 after the micro-blogging site founded by Jack Dorsey deleted President Buhari’s tweets. The post was a threat directed at the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Buhari said the proscribed group would be treated in a “language they understand.”
But the government had said it suspended Twitter operations due to “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”