Nigeria lifts Twitter ban after seven months

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Twitter has agreed to comply with Nigeria’s tax obligations and cultural sensitivities, and will also open an office in the country.

The Nigerian government has decided to lift its ban on Twitter seven months after it was instated. The ban was lifted at midnight on 13 January local time.

Twitter was suspended on 4 June last year after the platform removed a tweet from president Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened to punish regional secessionists.

The government said it banned Twitter because of the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

Last October, Buhari said in a televised speech that the ban would be lifted if the social media giant agreed to meet certain conditions, according to TechCrunch.

A spokesperson for Buhari tweeted this morning to welcome Nigerian citizens back to the social media platform, citing a “mutually beneficial future with endless possibilities”.

The director-general of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said in a statement that Buhari “has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria”.

Abdullahi was in charge of talks between Twitter and the Nigerian government.

The statement said that the “impasse” between the Nigerian government and Twitter had been resolved. It added that the move represented Twitter’s “first step in demonstrating its long-term commitment to Nigeria”.

“Twitter has 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 [Federal Government of Nigeria] and the broader industry to develop [a] code of conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries,” Abdullahi said.

Twitter has agreed to open a new office in the country and to appoint a designated representative to engage with Nigerian authorities, according to the statement. It has also agreed to comply with Nigeria’s tax regulations.

Last year, the company opened its first office in Africa in Ghana.

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