The Federal Government has disclosed that the management of American microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, has reached out for negotiation and lifting of the indefinite suspension imposed on its operations across the country.
Meanwhile, the central government has concluded plans to mandate payment of taxes for owners of other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and others, used by Nigerians to communicate and transact businesses.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the announcement on Wednesday while addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
This came barely five days after Federal Government placed an indefinite suspension on operations of the social networking service, following its decision to pull down President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet and videos on the civil war that ended in the country 50 years ago.
Addressing newsmen, Mohammed declared that the ban has so far been very effective following reports of Twitter’s huge financial losses been recorded by the American microblogging platform.
He described Twitter as a platform of choice for separatists to thrive and would be disallowed from operating until it is duly registered, licensed, and operates within regulations.
When the Minister was asked about the law under which Nigerians who violate the Twitter ban would be prosecuted, Lai refrained from answering and asked that the Attorney General of the Federation provide answers.
Mohammed insisted on the ban and asked politicians to rise beyond various divisions and queue behind the country’s decision to ban the microblogging site.
The minister, who also spoke concerning the payment of tax by tech giants in the country, explained that most of the OTT and social media platforms operating in Nigeria do not have offices either do they pay taxes for the billions earned.
Mohammed, despite criticism by Human Rights groups, insists that freedom of speech has not been stifled as a result of the ban, but maintained that other social media platforms are still available for use.