Following a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has revealed that the Twitter ban will soon be lifted.
On June 4, Nigeria’s Federal Government indefinitely suspended access to micro-blogging platform, Twitter after the platform had taken down a section of Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet in which he appeared to threaten a section of the country.
Shortly after that, it was revealed that negotiations had begun between the government and Twitter towards lifting the restriction. Those negotiations seem to be moving positively according to the Information Minister.
Speaking to State House correspondents on Wednesday, Mohammed implied that the ban could soon be lifted. “We appreciate the patience of Nigerians. I want to assure you that we have made very tremendous progress. We have met with Twitter both physically and in writing. We are actually almost there,” he said.
When announcing that it was ready for a dialogue with Twitter, Mohammed disclosed that some of the conditions for lifting the suspension would include Twitter registering as a company in Nigeria and appointing a country representative who would act as a liaison between the company and the Federal Government.
Shortly after the news broke on Wednesday, People’s Gazette, a Nigerian media house reported that a Twitter spokesperson had confirmed talks with the Federal Government but also said that no agreement had been reached.
In an email statement reportedly sent to People’s Gazette, the Twitter spokesperson said, “We recently met with the Nigerian government to discuss why Twitter has been blocked and ways to resolve the matter. Our aim is to chart a path forward to the restoration of Twitter for everyone in Nigeria.
“We look forward to ongoing discussions with the Nigerian government and seeing the service restored very soon.”
Considering that one of the government’s requirements — the opening of a physical office in Nigeria — is not due until 2022, could Nigerians wait longer to see the ban lifted?