Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says microblogging giant, Twitter, has approached the Nigerian Government for dialogue with a view to resolving the problem that led to the suspension of its activities in Nigeria.
According to him, he got the message from Twitter seeking dialogue with the government over the suspension order, on Wednesday, June 9.
Mohammed disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He however said Twitter must register with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission and obtain a license from the Nigerian government before its suspension can be lifted.
Apart from Twitter, he said other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram must be registered in the country.
According to the Information Minister, freedom of speech has not been stifled by the suspension of Twitter as he maintained that Nigerians could still use other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
He also denied the claims in some quotas that the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria is not effective, arguing that that “Twitter is losing money as a result of the action.”
He maintained that the social media giant was suspended because it provided an avenue for unpatriotic elements that were bent on destroying the corporate existence of Nigeria.
According to him, the owner of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, 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 security agents and destruction of public facilities.
“Our decision to suspend Twitter has been lauded by some; it has been decried by some. However, let me make it clear that what is important to us is the sovereignty of Nigeria and until when Twitter is paused.
“And the cardinal thing is that Twitter must be registered in Nigeria, Twitter must be licensed in Nigeria and Twitter must stop using its platform for activities that are inimical to the growth of Nigeria or to its corporate existence,’’
He said Twitter failed to take down Kanu’s tweets despite repeated requests by the Nigerian government 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.