Why Twitter, Facebook, others must register to do business in Nigeria –Minister

*All social media platforms must register. You must be a corporate entity before you can do business in Nigeria, says Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister for Information and Culture

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Referencing the law in regard to registration of any corporate entity before doing business in the country, the Federal Government has stated that all social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and others now must register with appropriate authorities.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture, who stated this in a media briefing after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Abuja, FCT, disclosed the measure is part of the move to regulate the social media platforms in Nigeria.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture

Mohammed said: “What we are saying is that all platforms, you must register in Nigeria. You must be a corporate entity before you can do business in Nigeria.

“Whether it is Netflix, Iroko, or Facebook … they are all doing business in Nigeria, making money and they are not paying taxes. This is in addition to being able to regulate them.

“They are making billions of naira out of this country and they are not paying tax. That can’t be allowed to go on.”

The Minister as well outlined the necessary conditions for the platforms to be registered in the country.

He noted: “Our conditions are layout –To do business in Nigeria, they must register as Nigerian companies.

“They must be licensed and they will have to refrain from using the platform for activities that are inimical to the growth of Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, in connection with the latest development on the extant ban the Federal Government slammed on the global technology giant recently, it was gathered that Nigerians and friends of Nigeria have expressed various reactions, and feared that the country is probably slipping into repression of freedom of speech.

Recall the Nigerian Government announced the decision to suspend Twitter operations Friday, June 4, 2021, days after the microblogging site and social media platform had deleted a remark from President Muhammadu Buhari.

ConsumerConnect had reported that the move has provoked both internal and international outcry over freedom of expression, just as individuals, groups, and civil society organisations have called for protests online and on the street.

Who access Twitter services in Nigeria?

Lagos-based researcher NOI Polls reportedly stated that over 120 million Nigerians have access to the Internet, and almost 40 million of them have Twitter accounts, representing 20 percent of the over 200 million population of the country.

According to studies, more than other social media platforms in the country, Nigerians “use Twitter to give voice to the voiceless and engage government on issues that they feel are going wrong in the country in real-time.”

However, the Federal Government has restated that the suspension of the tech giant because the platform had been used for activities that could destabilise the country, according to report.

Nigeria now joins countries such as China, Turkey and Myanmar, which have all restricted access at some time to Twitter, and other Western social media channels.

But the Minister has noted that it is in talks with Twitter over the suspension with a view to resolving the burning issue.

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