#TwitterBan: Suspension to Remain Indefinitely Until Twitter Shows Remorse – FG
Over the top (OTT) companies would now have to register as Nigerian companies
The Federal Government on Tuesday said that the suspension of the microblogging company, Twitter, in Nigeria is to remain indefinitely until the company shows remorse.
This is because the American company has not reached out to the federal government for dialogue since the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria last Friday, a top senior government official told THISDAY.
However, the House of Representatives has waded into the dispute as it mandated its Committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the circumstances leading to the suspension of operations of Twitter in Nigeria and the legality of the action.
It also summoned the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to shed light on the matter.
It was also learnt that contrary to the impression given to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth-Leonard, that Twitter was already holding talks with the federal government, the source said no discussion was going on.
Beth-Leonard had led heads of the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union and Ireland missions to a meeting with the Minister Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday in Abuja, where she said she was glad to learn that Twitter was negotiating with the Nigerian government.
But the source said: “As we speak, there has been no communication between Twitter and the federal government, and until the company does the needful, its operations will remain suspended indefinitely.”
The source said the federal government suspended Twitter because it had persistently made its platform available for the propagation of activities of persons who want to destabilise the country.
He said when the federal government complained, Twitter said the propagandists had not violated its rules.
“For instance, the federal government approached Twitter to remove a tweet by Nnamdi Kanu but the company responded that the material did not offend its rules,” he said.
He stated that even after that, Kanu used Twitter to ask his followers to kill Nigerian soldiers and police personnel and they obeyed.
He added: “If that is not offensive, what is?”
According to him, over the top (OTT) companies operate in Nigeria without registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and paying tax on the billions they make in the country.
This, he said, would no longer happen as henceforth, the OTTs would now have to register as Nigerian companies and would be expected to comply with the terms of their registration with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
“Anyone of them that is not registered would not be allowed to operate. Anyone that abuses the terms of its registration would have its licence withdrawn,” he added.