New law in Nigeria would require Twitter, Facebook to open offices locally

According to draught laws from the information technology development agency, online platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Tiktok will be required to register, open offices in Nigeria, and appoint government contact persons.

According to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the code of practice for “interactive computer service platforms/internet intermediaries” was created to combat online abuse, such as disinformation and misinformation.

The restrictions were drafted with assistance from Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, and TikTok, among others, according to a statement from the agency’s spokeswoman dated June 13.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with over 200 million people, is a big fan of the platforms.

The platforms, according to NIDTA, would be compelled to transmit relevant information to users or authorised government agencies, including for the sake of maintaining security and public order.

They would also be required to submit annual reports to NITDA detailing the number of registered users in Nigeria, the number of complaints received, and content removed as a result of misinformation and disinformation.

Nigeria removed a ban on Twitter earlier this year, citing the company’s agreement to open a local office and other agreements with authorities.