Last week, IT News Africa reported that Nigerian authorities were expecting to lift the country’s ban of social network Twitter “in the next few days or weeks”, according to Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.
The Minister said that the Federal Government’s negotiations with Twitter were soon to be concluded and that Nigerian users would be able to use the platform again as soon as the talks finished.
However now it seems that the Nigerian authorities expect to lift the ban on the social network before the end of the year.
According to Mohammed, one of the outstanding issues in the ban being lifted is the country’s demand that Twitter establishes an office in Nigeria. The minister said that the social media company has agreed to this, but could not do so until 2022.
Another demand from the Federal Government was for the appointment of a country representative who would act as a liaison between it and Twitter.
Reuters reports that Nigeria’s government has reached an agreement on seven of the 10 requests it made to Twitter but was still waiting on the company’s response on final issues, including the establishment of a Nigerian office, the paying of local taxes and the cooperation with the government to regulate content and harmful tweets.
“We certainly want to put this behind us before the end of the year,” Mohammed said.
Twitter’s operations in Africa’s most populous country ceased dramatically in one evening after it removed a Tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened people living in the southeast of Nigeria, whom he blamed for attacks on public infrastructure in the region.
The Nigerian government announced the ban, ironically, on Twitter, after which many telecom operators were ordered to block access to the site.
Since then, some Nigerian users have continued to use the service through VPNs and other means, while most government agencies have ceased to use Twitter for communications altogether.
Relations between the Federal Government and Twitter have been tense since the company chose Ghana, another, yet smaller, West African nation, for its continental headquarters. A decision that angered Mohammed, who said that Twitter had been influenced by media misrepresentations of Nigeria.