After 222 days (7 months) the Federal Government has finally lifted the ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria.
This comes after the social media platform agreed to open a local office, among other agreements with authorities in the West African country.
Twitter was banned by the Federal Government on June 4, 2021 after it removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists.
By June 5, 2021, the suspension was effected by telecommunications companies as Nigerians woke up to a Twitter shutdown across all platforms
According to the director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, he said in a statement that President Muhammadu Buhari had given approval to lift the suspension effective from 12:00 a.m. this morning.
“Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built…,”Abdullahi’s statement said.
Twitter would work with the federal government and the broader industry “to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries,” it said.
“Therefore, the (federal government) lifts the suspension of the Twitter operations in Nigeria from midnight of 13th January 2022.”
Abdullahi, who also chaired a joint technical committee of Nigerian and Twitter officials, said the U.S. company agreed to appoint a country representative to engage with Nigerian authorities and comply with local tax obligations.
According to the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, Nigeria lost N104.02 million ($250,600) every hour to the ban, bringing the daily losses to N2.46 billion.
By the end of yesterday, it was 5,328 hours in the 222 days since the social networking site was blocked, and about N546.5 billion was already lost by the economy.