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FG lifts Twitter ban

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THE Federal Government has lifted the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Chairman of the Technical Committee for Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi made it known in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, the suspension would be effected by midnight of January 13th.

Kashifu said the approval was given following a memo written to the president by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Ali Ibrahim.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12 am tonight, 13th January 2022,” he said.

“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim.

“In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”

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Many Nigerians may not be excited about the suspension of the ban, having been accessing Twitter using the virtual private network (VPN).

But some say they are, owing to the impact it would make on their economic lives.

But Agnes Jane, a Twitter user, said she was excited about the lifting of the ban as she used the platform to promote her small business.

Nigeria banned Twitter in June 2021, days after the platform deleted a remark from Buhari’s account which provoked outcry from Nigerians, especially the Igbo people of the South-East.

Nigerian officials defended the ban, saying Twitter was used to promote fake news and for destabilising the country, especially by separatists in the South-East.

Buhari’s government and Twitter have been in talks over a list of conditions for ending the suspension, including discussions on taxes, content, and registering locally in Nigeria.

“The issues are being addressed and I have directed that the suspension to be lifted, but only if the conditions are met, to allow our citizens to continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements,” Buhari said in a speech marking Nigeria’s Independence Day in 2021.

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