The Nigerian government has indicated that the temporary ban on Twitter may be lifted soon.
The Minister of Information and Culture minister, Lai Mohammed, said on Wednesday that though talks were still ongoing with Twitter, many agreements had been reached.
Mr Mohammed, who briefed journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, said the areas still pending include Twitter setting up an office in Nigeria and having a Twitter staff of management cadre as the country representative.
He said though Twitter had agreed to establish an office in Nigeria, the social media platform said it cannot do so until 2022.
Mr Mohammed said he believes the grey areas would be resolved in a few days or weeks.
Nigeria suspended Twitter in the country on June 4 after the social media platform deleted a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Nigerian government also accused Twitter of supporting protests against the government.
The suspension means millions of Twitter users in Nigeria are denied access to the platform and can only reach it through backdoors such as virtual private networks.
Conditions that must be met
Briefing the journalists, Mr Mohammed stated that although they had a smooth deliberation with Twitter, that did not mean that there was no area of disagreement.
He also said they made some demands which Twitter promised to look into.
“I know that one of the conditions that we set was that Twitter, in line with Nigeria’s Companies and Allied Matters Act, should establish presence in Nigeria with registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC),” the minister said.
“And we think it is the only thing, that if you want to do business in Nigeria, you must register first, a Nigerian company and of course, you must have an address. That is one of the conditions we gave Twitter.
“We also asked that Twitter shall be mandated to employ a designated country representatives. As of today, we are not aware of any Twitter representative in Nigeria, and we say that that representative shall be a staff of Twitter so that he can have access to global management of Twitter.
“So that he can serve as a liaison between Nigeria and Twitter so that we can be able to….The company representative should also have a physical office address in Nigeria as well as access to the Global Management so that it can serve as the liaison between Nigeria and Twitter.”
He said aside the condition of opening an office in Nigeria, they also gave a condition that Twitter must register with all relevant bodies.
“Also have a physical office address in Abuja and offices outside the capital. But we believe that it’s important that Twitter should have a company representative who is high up so that he can take directly complaints from Nigeria to Twitter.
“We also asked Twitter, in addition to registering the Nigerian company, must also register with relevant regulatory authorities like NIPDA, like NCC, broadcasting commission.
“Fourthly, we asked that Twitter shall be mandated to retain designated local agents to manage its engagement with federal government operations in Nigeria.
“We also asked Twitter to commit itself to working with the Federal Inland Revenue Service. Understanding that if you make money from Nigeria, you pay taxes according to Nigeria laws. Of course, start paying VAT and other tax liabilities like any company resident in Nigeria.
“We also proposed to Twitter that we should agree on a charter of online conduct for content management so that this charter will guide both of us. We will agree on which content would be acceptable, what is not acceptable.
“So, the two parties would ….because we are very concerned about content that are liable to jeopardise the security, unity and safety of Nigeria.
“We also asked that we agree on what is publicatious and when such is cited and brought to the attention of Twitter, Twitter will remove or delete such a publication,” the minister said.
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