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Stakeholders speak on lifting of Twitter ban

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Stakeholders in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) have expressed mixed feelings over the country’s lifting of the ban on Twitter.

Recall that the Nigerian government on June 5, 2021 suspended the operations of Twitter through an announcement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Ike Nnamani, while speaking with Nigerian Tribune, expressed delight over the lifting of the ban on twitter operation.

He said many Nigerians whose businesses rely on Twitter to reach out to customers would resume their businesses.

He said the condition for Twitter to set up an office in Nigeria is a welcome development because it will benefit the local economy and employ many Nigerian youths.

“We are happy that Twitter is back because it has a lot of benefits to Nigerians as well as the government. Now the ban is lifted, a lot of Nigerians depend on it for their business, now they can go back to using the platform for business purposes and some use it for social interaction which is also good for the citizens.

“More importantly, as part of the agreement, Twitter will set up operations in Nigeria which means that there are going to be benefits to the local economy like when they employ people or when they carry out projects or activities,” he said.

Nnamani also admonished Nigerians to use social media platforms responsibly to avoid repetition of what happened to Twitter.

“It is a welcome development; all we will also ask is that Nigerians learn to use all the social media platforms responsibly so that we don’t run into anything like this in the future.

“As long as Twitter is happy with the conditions by the Nigerian government, we will not complain, it is an agreement they reached,” he added.

Also, the Founder of Young Innovators of Nigeria (YIN), Mr Abu Andrew, said the Twitter ban had adverse effects on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

He said the Nigerian government banned Twitter because of fake news but there are better ways of handling such situations.

“It is a good one though because Twitter users will have to watch what they tweet, if you draw the line, the post will be deleted as part of the conditions government gave Twitter,” he said.

Speaking on the conditions the Nigerian Government gave Twitter, Mr Andrew said “it is left to Twitter to know the conditions they can adhere to, but the important one is that irresponsible posts or fake news should be removed within a short time because it is dangerous.”

For Jide Awe, the Founder Jidaw Systems and STI Policy Advisor, the conditions are normal for the fact that it has taken so long for the government to lift the ban.

He said he believes that at the end of the day, the government needs to have something to show, that is why it took so long to lift the ban, otherwise people will be worried about the reason why Twitter was banned in the first place.

“The condition that Twitter should have an office in Nigeria is reasonable. The problem basically is the control of what people tweet and if you are on the Twitter platform, there are rules and regulations and once you go against those rules and regulations, Twitter will take action.

“The government itself cannot be absolved of that because if the government breaks Twitter rules, they will also face the consequences; I think that is the main issue.”

 

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