Investigation by The Nation has revealed that Twitter has complied with all the terms given by the government to restore its services.
The conditions agreed to by the firm are:Open an office in NigeriaHave a country representativeRegister with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)/get National Broadcasting Commission’s licensePayment of fair taxesSensitive to national security and cohesion.
It must not undermine the nation’s securityTrain Nigerian IT personnel and strategic intelligence officers on how to report twitter abuse /infractions noticed by the government.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “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 offices 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 budget 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 N6 billion to the ban, the Microblogging site 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.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “The two parties reached consensus on how to manage posts likely to cause security breaches and those that can threaten Nigerian security.“The security matter was the last point of negotiation. The two parties agreed on how to report offensive/inflammatory posts or reports that undermine Nigerian security.“Part of the agreement borders on the need to train some Nigerian IT experts and intelligence officers on how to track reports and relate instantly with Twitter to flag down such posts.”
Asked when the ban will be lifted, the source added: “The Technical Committee is looking into and fine-tuning offers from Twitter, especially reporting line and technical training, before making a final recommendation to the President to lift the ban.“President Buhari has agreed in principle to lift the ban but we have to consider the conditions and what Twitter offered. Some aspects have IT implications which the Technical Committee must study in the overall interest of the nation. Once the President gets the report of the committee, he will decide