Nigeria has made three final requests to Twitter and is expecting a response before the ban on the microblogging social medium will be lifted, according to the country’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.
Lai Mohammed says Twitter has accepted seven of the ten requests made by the Nigerian government with the final three including setting up an office locally, paying local taxes and cooperating with the national government on regulation of tweets tagged harmful, being the requests yet to be accepted.
“We certainly want to put this behind us before the end of the year,” the Minister said.
The ban on Twitter, since the 4th of June, has seen many businesses struggle, with most Nigerian tweeters, including individuals and businesses resorting to the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which makes them appear as though they’re tweeting from another country.
Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said at the time that Nigerians using VPNs risked jail sentence in a grandstanding statement made shortly after the ban. Nigerians have however defied the threats and have dared the odds.
The Nigerian government suspended the social media company after it removed a controversial tweet from the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari had threatened to deal with separatists “in the language they understand” in the post.
Mohammed also added that the company was aiding separatists and accepted its medium to be used as the mouthpiece of agitators in the country.
The Minister is currently in Washington where he’s meeting journalists and thought leaders in a bid to provide clarity on some misunderstandings about the Nigerian government’s actions, including its stifling approach to Press freedom.