Twitter to pay tax, establish ‘legal entity’ in Nigeria after suspension is lifted
Social media giant Twitter has agreed to pay “applicable tax” and establish a legal entity in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2022, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency, who headed the Nigerian team that negotiated with Twitter, said in a statement while announcing the lifting of the more than six-month-long suspension of the social media platform in the country.
Twitter will also appoint a “designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities” by 2023 and register with the Corporate Affairs Commissiion, Abdullahi said.
The platform is also expected to enrol Nigeria in its Partner Support and Law Enforcement Portals. The Law Enforcement Portal provides a channel for the law enforcement agencies to submit a report with a legal justification where it suspects that content violates Nigerian Laws.
“Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built and work with the FGN and the broader industry to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries,” Abdullahi said.
Nigeria suspended Twitter in June 2021, days after the platform deleted a remark from Buhari’s account, provoking outcry over freedom of expression in Africa’s most populous country.
Nigerian officials defended the suspension saying Twitter was used to promote fake news and for destabilising activities, especially by separatists in the southeast.
Buhari’s government and Twitter have been in talks over a list of conditions for ending the suspension, including discussions on taxes, content, and registering locally in Nigeria.
“The issues are being addressed and I have directed that the suspension be lifted, but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens to continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements,” Buhari said in a speech marking Nigeria’s independence day.