Twitter has agreed to meet conditions outlined by the Nigerian government to resume operations and set up office after its operations were suspended in Africa’s most populous country six months ago.
Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said the approval was given following a memo written by the country’s minister of communications and digital economy to the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement also revealed that the ban would be lifted immediately by midnight on January 13, 2022.
Abdullahi is the director-general of Nigeria’s tech agency, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
He was put in charge, as chairman, of the committee (Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement) set up by the Nigerian government to oversee talks between the West African nation and Twitter after the ban.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12 am tonight, 13th January 2022,” the statement read.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim. In the Memo, the minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”
With the new terms, Twitter has agreed to set “a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022.
”The establishment of Twitter’s legal entity, according to the statement, is the social media giant’s “first step in demonstrating its long-term commitment to Nigeria.”
In addition to setting up a local office or a legal entity in the country, the pending request is to pay taxes locally and cooperate with the Nigerian government to regulate content and harmful tweets.
Twitter will also appoint a designated country representative to hold talks with the Nigerian government when required.
“Twitter has agreed to comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law. Twitter has agreed to enroll Nigeria in its Partner Support and Law Enforcement Portals,” the statement read.
The government had on June 5 restricted Twitter from operating in Nigeria following the deleting of tweets posted by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had threatened to treat members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the language they understand.
According to Twitter, the post threatened to punish regional secessionists for attacks on government buildings.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the government had acted because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.