Nigeria’s Twitter ban to be lifted soon – minister

Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed has given the strongest indication yet that the government’s ban on Twitter will be lifted soon.

The minister told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that talks with the social media company had reached an advanced stage and that “an amicable solution is very much in sight”.

He highlighted some of the government’s conditions for ending the ban. These include Twitter registering its business in Nigeria, having a staff presence in the country and agreeing to pay tax.

But Mr Mohammed said “tremendous progress” had been made between Twitter and the Nigerian government towards ending the dispute.

The Nigerian government banned Twitter at the beginning of June after the platform removed a post by President Muhammadu Buhari saying it violated its “abusive behaviour” policy.

Nigeria’s government had however said the ban on Twitter was not because of the removal of the president’s tweet but to safeguard national security and unity.

Activists have criticised the ban which they say is a way of stifling freedom of speech.

Despite the ban imposed more than two months ago, many Nigerians have continued to tweet using virtual private networks (VPN).

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