Twitter users may soon have access to the social media platform which has met the six conditions imposed on it by the Federal Government.
The Nation reports on Tuesday, that the Technical Committee raised by the government to resolve the impasse between the two parties is fine-tuning the offers by Twitter before making a final recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the report, President Buhari is also awaiting the recommendation of the committee to lift the ban, imposed on Twitter on June 4, 2021.
“From the records, Twitter has finally met six conditions set by the Federal Government for the lifting of the ban on its service in Nigeria as at the close of business in 2021.
“The operation of Twitter will now be fully regulated, including opening of offices and deployment of a Country Representative. We can now hold an officer responsible for any infraction.
“Twitter only requested that the Federal Government should allow it to open the office in 2022 because there was no provision for it in its budget last year. Since we are in a new year, we are expecting that the office will take off soon.
“With payment of taxes, we are hopeful that the government will earn enhanced revenue from Twitter. This ban has helped to correct the lapses of the past. For instance, Twitter has been raking huge cash from Nigeria without legal backing and compliance with our revenue laws.
“Although it was alleged that Nigerians have lost over N6 Billion to the ban, the Federal Government has lost much more in revenue.
“In spite of recourse to VPN by some users in Nigeria, Twitter revenue slumped considerably because this alternative does not fetch income to it.
“Now, the era of impunity is gone. Twitter must register with CAC and operate in Nigeria as a business concern which it is in other parts of the world”, the report said quoting a reliable source.
Responding to a question, the source said: “The two parties reached consensus on how to manage posts likely to cause security breaches and those that can
threaten Nigerian security.
“The security matter was the last point of negotiation. The two parties agreed on how to report offensive/inflammatory posts or reports that undermine Nigerian security.
“Part of the agreement borders on the need to train some Nigerian IT experts and intelligence officers on how to track reports and relate instantly with Twitter to flag down such posts.”
Asked when the ban would be lifted, the source added: “The Technical Committee is looking into and fine-tuning offers from Twitter, especially reporting line and technical training, before making a final
recommendation to the President to lift the ban.
“President Buhari has agreed in principle to lift the
ban but we have to consider the conditions and what Twitter offered. Some aspects have IT implications which the Technical Committee must study in the overall interest of the nation. Once the President gets the report of the committee, he will decide.”
However, there are ongoing plans by the government to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act to include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms
Another reliable source said, “The proposed amendments will accommodate all the conditions given to Twitter. Our law will now fully incorporate the technical and business dimensions of the agreement between the two parties.
“The same law will now be applicable to the operation of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other internet platforms.”