Twitter agrees to open office in Nigeria
Nigeria’s minister for information Lai Mohammed Wednesday said social media giant Twitter has agreed to open an office in the country, months after it opened its first African office in Ghana.
“I know that one of the conditions that we set was that Twitter, in line with Nigeria’s Companies and Allied Matters Act, should establish presence in Nigeria with registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission,” the minister said on Wednesday.
“And we think it is only thing, that if you want to do business in Nigeria, you must register first as a Nigerian company and of course, you must have an address.”
The Nigerian office is not expected to be operational until 2022 and may be headed by a staff of management cadre that will serve as the country representative.
Opening the office was one of the conditions Nigeria gave Twitter before its operations can resume in the country, Mohammed said.
Nigeria suspended the operations of the social media platform in June after a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari evoking the memories of the Nigerian Civil War was deleted.
Twitter said the tweet violated its “abusive behaviour” rules.
The Nigerian Government, however, said the suspension was a matter of national security.
Mohammed blamed Twitter and its co-founder Jack Dorsey for the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in many Nigerian cities last October.
Mohammed alleged that Dorsey raised funds through Bitcoins to sponsor the #EndSARS protest while his platform, Twitter, was used to fuel the crisis.
“If you ask people to donate money via bitcoins for EndSARS protesters then you are vicariously liable for whatever is the outcome of the protest,” Mohammed said on on “Politics Nationwide”, a Radio Nigeria call-in show in June.
“We have forgotten that EndSARS led to the loss of lives, including 37 policemen, six soldiers, 57 civilians while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.”
Twitter said it was opened to speaking with the Nigerian Government in the wake of the wake of the suspension.
But the thorny relationship between the two parties is being ironed out, the minister said.
“We are very much in touch with Twitter in this matter and I must say they’ve shown a lot of flexibility also as opposed to what is being reported,” Mohammed said, adding that the “the conversation has not been acrimonious at all.”
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