The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has disclosed details on the agreement reached between the Federal Government and microblogging platform, Twitter.
Naija News recalls that the Nigerian government on January 12, 2022, suspended the ban on Twitter operation in the country, 222 days after it was officially banned.
Giving more updates on the resumption of the microblogging platform operation in Nigeria, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, while addressing the press yesterday in Abuja at the National Privacy Week 2022 press conference and unveiling of the week’s activities, said the social media platform has agreed to work with the laws and cultures of Nigeria.
Abdullahi explained that the microblogging platform owners have agreed with the Nigerian Government to see it as illegal online whatever the country has declared illegal offline.
According to the tech boss, apart from Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies operating in the country must also be regulated in order to ensure that Nigerians do not destroy themselves with these applications.
He stressed that most of these tech companies are more powerful than a democratic government, hence the need to regulate their activities.
Fielding questions from reporters on the government’s agreement with Twitter, Abdullahi said, “On our engagement with Twitter, they understand that whatever is illegal offline is illegal online. They understand that in Nigeria, we have laws and they [have agreed to] respect our culture. We have laws, they [have agreed to] respect our laws.
“They provide a platform you and I can use for different purposes. Some can use it as a tool to develop and enhance their businesses, some can use it as a weapon to destroy people.
“Besides, the question is, to what extent should our lives be governed by these tech companies? …today, we’re living in a situation whereby these tech companies are more powerful than a democratic government to the extent that if they don’t want you they kick you out of power and if they want you they bring you to power.
“So, we’ll look at these and decide if we want them governed or leave them and use any App to destroy ourselves. So we need to regulate it.”
Naija News reports that the NITDA DG stressed that it is only through regulation that the government can harness the potentials of the social platforms, else their perils or the ills will destroy the nation.
He added: “So, our understanding with Twitter, [also extending to all the big tech companies] is that they must comply with all the Nigerian laws. They must know that what is illegal offline is illegal online.
“Twitter has agreed to put a mechanism in place . They’ve started training our people…they have their own policy which is global, but they’re working with the government to put some of the laws that are not in their own regulation as part of their policy.
“And if anybody does something illegal on that note, they’re going to help us take action on that. So, we’re going to work together with all the big tech companies and civil societies organisations to come up with a framework for all social media platforms.”