From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Nigerians went wild in celebration Wednesday evening as the Federal Government finally lifted the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter effective from 12am January 13.
The social media app was suspended in April 2021 as the government cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence. Economic watchers say billions of naira has been lost in the process as many Nigerians use it as a platform to run their businesses.
However, Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General of the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency, while announcing the lifting of the suspension said it was based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.
“The immediate and remote cause of the suspension was the unceasing use of the platform by some unscrupulous elements for subversive purposes
and criminal activities, propagating fake news, and polarising Nigerians along
tribal and religious lines, among others. These issues bordering on National Security, Cohesion and the effects of the abuse of the Twitter platform forced the FGN to suspend the operation of Twitter to address the direct and collateral
issues around its operations in Nigeria.
“The new global reality is that digital platforms and their operators wield enormous influence over the fabric of our society, social interaction and
economic choices. These platforms can be used as either a tool or a weapon.
Every nation is grappling with how to balance its usage efficiently. Without
balancing, every citizen’s security, privacy, social well-being, and development are at stake. “Therefore, our action is a deliberate attempt to
recalibrate our relationship with Twitter to achieve the maximum mutual
benefits for our nation without jeopardising the justified interests of the
Company. Our engagement has been very respectful, cordial, and successful.
“The process of resolving this impasse between the FGN and Twitter Inc. has helped lay a foundation for a mutually beneficial future with endless
possibilities. Twitter is a platform of choice for many Nigerians ranging from
young innovators to public sector officials who find it helpful to engage their
audience. Therefore, our engagement will help Twitter improve and develop
more business models to cover a broader area in Nigeria. Furthermore, the
FGN looks forward to providing a conducive environment for Twitter and other
global tech companies to achieve their potential and be sustainably profitable in Nigeria”, the statement noted.
Inuwa hailed all Nigerians, especially the vibrant Nigerian youths who have borne with the long wait to resolve this impasse, the FGN is happy
to say that the gains made from this shared national sacrifice are