Nigeria’s ban on Twitter will make other platforms pay more attention to content on their mediums, a former Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Armstrong Idachaba, has said.
Idachaba made the comment on the sidelines of CABSAT, an event for the Middle East and African content, broadcast, satellite, media & entertainment industry professionals.
“No one will blame any government for having more than a passing interest in what is disseminated on social media. I am glad that in Nigeria, the government is aware of the economic benefit [of social media platforms] and the government has been talking with the owners of Twitter,” the former NBC boss told Channels TV during the event held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.
“I am also glad that Twitter has not come out outrightly to say there are no issues and that is why they are on the table. The president has said if all the grey areas are sorted out, that he was going to give approval for them to return. So, I think it is a matter of time that this will be reversed. And going forward, other media platforms owners will be a bit more sensitive.”
Idachaba’s remark is the latest in debates over the Nigerian government’s ban of the social media platform in June.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had accused the social media giants of harbouring harmful content and promoting division in the country.
“The decision of the Federal Government to ban the activities of Twitter for being a national security threat is well-founded in law in light of the fact that the platform affords IPOB, an organisation already proscribed by the Federal High Court, to champion its seditious and terrorist-based activities,” the minister said in June during his presentation before the House of Representatives Joint Committee on the suspension of Twitter at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Since the ban on the social media platform, government and Twitter representatives have been meeting to iron out their differences and restore Twitter’s operations.
In his Independence Day speech, President Muhammadu Buhari – whose tweets were deleted just before the ban – had acknowledged the progress made in discussions with the US tech company.
According to him, the suspension would be lifted once Twitter meets the Federal Government’s conditions.
“Following the extensive engagements, 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 continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements,” he said in a nationwide broadcast.