The Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has said that microblogging site, Twitter, is expected to open its Nigerian office before the end of March 2022.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known when he appeared on a radio progarmme, the Radio Link, in Abuja, noting that the move was part of the agreement the company reached with the Federal Government last year to have the ban imposed on it lifted.
Mohammed asserted that other social media platforms operating in the country would be expected to follow suit, adding that in due course, as the government vowed to ensure that only wholesome content was allowed to pass through the platforms henceforth.
He stressed that the government’s intention to regulate social media was borne out of the desire to sanitise social media and not to stifle the freedom of speech and expression or strangulate the media as some people might believe.
He said, “Twitter also agreed to comply with all payable taxes, as they are operating under Nigerian laws and this they agreed to do within one week of restoring their operations.
”Twitter agreed to immediately work with the Federal Government in the area of code of conduct, that was in line with global best practices
“Twitter agreed to immediately enroll Nigerians in its law enforcement portals and Partners Support Portal.
“The law enforcement portal will provide dedicated channels for the Nigerian law enforcement agencies to escalate reports on contents that violate the code of conduct or national laws.
“Similarly, the partner support portal provides a direct channel for government to engage Twitter staff to manage prohibited contents.
“We are going to regulate the social media not because we want to stifle the media or we want to violate the right of expression. We want to ensure that only wholesome contents are available on social media.
“Recently, we were all shocked when an 18-year old boy, accused of killing his 21-year old girlfriend for money rituals, confessed that he learnt the diabolical act on social media. The teenager, in collaboration with his friends, cut off the head of the victim and was burning it in a pot when they were apprehended.”
“The government has the responsibility to ensure that social media platforms were responsible and the contents they displayed are not harmful to young people, as well as the unity of the country,” he said.
The minister affirmed that relevant laws and the broadcasting code would be amended to ensure that the agreement reached with Twitter was applicable to other social media platforms.