lai Mohammed)

Suspension: Twitter seeks high-level talks with FG, says Lai Muhammed

…insists all OTT social media platforms must register with NBC, CAC

The Federal Government has disclosed that Twitter has been seeking resolution reached out to its officials seeking talks following the suspension of its activities in the country. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known to newsmen yesterday after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

He insisted that the microblogging platform was suspended because it provided an avenue for people that are threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria. According to him, the owner of Twitter helped to fund the recent #EndSARS protest while allowing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to use the platform to call for the killing of policemen. He said Twitter failed to take down Kanu’s tweets despite repeated requests to do so. Mohammed listed conditions that must be met even if there is a discussion with Twitter including that it must now be registered in Nigeria as a business concern.

Apart from Twitter, he said other OTT (Over The Top) social media operations in Nigeria like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and others must be registered in the country. According to the government spokesman, freedom of speech has not been stifled by the suspension of Twitter as he maintained that Nigerians can still use other platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and others. He also maintained that the suspension has been effective arguing that Twitter has been losing money as a result of the action.

The minister said “Yes, only this morning I got, you know, communication that yes, they are now ready to hold senior level discussions with us. Just now, I just confirmed with my colleague.” On whether the government would hold discussions with Twitter, he said “Why not? We will. But our conditions are already laid out to you. One, to do business in Nigeria, they must register as a Nigerian company. Two, they must be licensed and Three, they will have to refrain from using the platform for activities that are inimical to the growth of Nigeria, to the corporate existence of Nigeria. From there, any other issue can come up. We already talked to them.”




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