The Federal Government has disclosed that microblogging site ,Twitter, has met seven of the 10 conditions it laid down to lift the suspension of its operations in Nigeria.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this in Washington DC, United States, on Friday, during his on-going engagement with various global media outlets, think tanks and influencers.
The engagement is to enable the minister put across the correct narratives about what is happening in Nigeria, showcase government achievements and present challenges facing the country.
During his interaction with Reuters, Washington Post and Bloomberg Quicktake, a live streaming news service, Mohammed said there is an end in sight towards the amicable resolution of the suspension.
“We believe that even the other three outstanding demands, are not really about whether they agreed or not but about timing and scheduling. That is what gave me the confidence that we are getting nearer to an agreement,” he said.
According to the minister, one of the conditions given to Twitter was for the company to register as a business organisation in Nigeria, pay taxes from revenue made in the country and ensure that harmful contents are regulated.
He said: “As recently as last week, we exchanged correspondents with Twitter, and when I left home a few days ago, we are expecting a reply from them. It is rather, more left with Twitter to respond to grey areas that we asked them to look into.
“We are not inflexible in our negotiation with Twitter because we recognise both the positive and negative aspects of social media.”
Mohammed said the Twitter ban had been very effective in the country because they see less harmful and injurious contents on social media; adding that other social media platforms had been more conscious and alert to injurious contents likely to threaten national security.
He said from the talks with Twitter, when the platform resumed operations, it would not be business as usual.
The minister stated that taking cue from the experience with Twitter, all social media platforms must comply to set down regulations
He added that the claim that Twitter operation was suspended because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet was a mischievous interpretation not grounded in facts.
Mohammed reiterated that the platform was suspended because their operations became inimical to national unity.
“Twitter operation was suspended because they were threatening national security, pitching one ethnic group against the other, interfering recklessly in the internal affairs of our country.
“It renders its platform as a platform of choice for those who are preaching separatism and lend their resources to protesters against the police without understanding the nuances of our culture.
“They raised funds to support #EndSARS protesters which led to the killing of 57 innocent civilians, 37 police officers, six soldiers in addition to billions of dollars of destruction in property,” the minister added.