The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has confirmed that the office of the microblogging app, Twitter, has formally written to the Federal government seeking dialogue over the indefinite suspension of the app’s operations in Nigeria.
He confirmed this while speaking on a radio Nigeria phone-in program. He said “I can confirm that Twitter has written the Federal Government that they are ready to talk. “As we have always maintained, the door is not locked and we are open minded but Twitter must work toward it,” he said. The minister added that the government’s position remains, as it would not tolerate any platform that would be used to destabilize the country.
Among the conditions for Twitter to resume operation in Nigeria, there must be an agreement as to what contents it could post, Twitter and other social media platforms must also register as a Nigerian company, obtain license from the National Broadcasting Commission(NBC) and be guided by the rules of the licensing as well as pay taxes.
According to the minister, regulation of social media platforms is becoming a global practice. He said most countries are just waking up to the fact that these platforms are becoming more powerful than even government and needs to be regulated.
“Singapore, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey regulate the social media, Australia has done so.” “Even EU that does not have particular laws on social media has made recommendations in a white paper,” he said. The minister said that the UK has also initiated a new law which would make social media companies to be fined up to 18 million pounds (about N10.8 billion) if they failed to stamp out online abuses.