Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has warned that any social media platform used to bring down Nigeria will be suspended.
The Minister who appeared before house committees on communication, justice, information, and culture, and national security and intelligence on Tuesday, June 22, added that the ban of Twitter operations in the country is a good opportunity for “resourceful Nigerians to also look at how they can have an app that can replace Twitter”.
“On Twitter not being the only social media in Nigeria but banning Twitter alone, honestly, we suspended Twitter because Twitter became a platform of choice for those that want to bring down this country.
“If any other platform does it, we will suspend their operations too. It is because there is a country called Nigeria that they have business here.
“Honestly, I think it is a good opportunity for our very resourceful Nigerians to also look at how they can have an app that can replace Twitter, and it would be patronised by all of us. We have received a few approaches and we want to encourage them.”
On those whose businesses have been affected by the Twitter ban, the Minister stressed there has to be a country first before people make money. He also revealed that they are ready to hold discussions with the social media giant.
“Like I have said, we owe no responsibility to Twitter. It is not registered in Nigeria. It does not employ Nigerians. It does not pay taxes to Nigeria.
“If Nigerians do make money through Twitter, unfortunately, Nigeria has to be a country first before they can make that money. Like I said, there are other platforms available to them. Hopefully, if we are able to resolve this matter quickly, they will resume use of Twitter.
“The doors are not closed. We are willing to speak to Twitter. Twitter has written a letter seeking for government dialogue and just today, I did issue a statement which I announced the government’s team that is ready to meet Twitter.
“When I leave here, I intend to see whether we can have a preliminary meeting of that committee. We hope that the committee will be able to meet first and that the committee would have a good dialogue with Twitter.
“But like we said, there are two basic things that Twitter or any OTT or social media needs to do — they must first be registered as a Nigerian company after which they will apply for licence. Other conditions will come up as we go along.”