Twitter To Open Nigeria Office As FG Agrees To Lift Suspension
TECHDIGEST – Twitter will open a Nigeria office as part of the agreement reached to unban its operations in the country, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told the media this week in Abuja.
The micro blogging site sees 2022 as the earliest possible date to set up its Nigerian office as Abuja begins the process of unbanning Twitter after it forced network service providers to unplugs its operations over two months ago.
According to the minister, most of the conditions issued out to Twitter have been accepted by the social media company.
Twitter has over three million active users in Nigeria. According to Statista, Nigeria had approximately 33 million active social media users as at March 2021. WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, is the most popular platform used in the country. Twitter is the 3rd most popular after Instagram
The government had on June 4, 2021, suspended Twitter barely two days after the social media platform deleted a tweet by the President Muhammadu Buhari. It also accused Twitter of promoting content that put Nigeria’s corporate existence at risk. The suspension was indefinite and interpreted by many as a ban.
But many Nigerians have bypassed the Twitter suspension by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
Banning Twitter had exposed the Nigerian government to numerous legal and political backlashes. In a landmark ruling that further weakened Nigerian government’s argument for banning Twitter, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in June 23 held that government cannot prosecute Twitter users.
The envoys of the US, UK, Canada and the European Union, had also in a joint statement in June, condemned the ban warning it erases citizens’ right to information and free expression.