After seven months, the Nigerian government has finally lifted its Twitter ban.
The Twitter ban was implemented last June after the company deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari threatening to punish a sect called (Indigenous People of Biafra) IPOB in the South-Eastern part of the country, accusing them of attacking government buildings. Buhari then referenced events during the Nigerian Civil War.
At the time, Nigeria said the removal of the tweet was “disappointing.” Many nations, including the UK, Canada, the U.S. and EU members, condemned the ban.
After the best part of a year, Nigeria and Twitter reached an agreement—Nigeria ensuring the social media platform will be “respectful” of the country’s laws moving forward.
“The new global reality is that digital platforms and their operators wield enormous influence over the fabric of our society, social interaction and economic choices. These platforms can be used as either a tool or a weapon,” the government said in its statement. “Therefore, 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. Our engagement has been very respectful, cordial, and successful.”
Twitter had to agree to open a local office in Nigeria. They also had to agree to the following terms:
- Register in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022
- Appoint a designated country representative
- Comply with tax obligations in Nigeria
- Enroll Nigeria in its portal for direct communications between government officials and Twitter to manage prohibited content that violates Twitter community rules
- Act with a respectful acknowledgment of Nigerian laws