The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has said Twitter’s decision to set up its African office in Ghana instead of Nigeria which has more users, will serve as a lesson to Nigerians to stop speaking ill of the country.
He stated this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
“I think the natural expectation is for Nigeria to be the hub of Twitter headquarters especially in this part of Africa given the fact that we have 25.4 million Twitter users in Nigeria against eight million Twitter users in Accra,” Mohammed said.
The Minister further said, “Clearly, the decision was not a commercial one or business one. I think Twitter has the prerogative and exclusive right as to where to site its headquarters and I hope that this will serve as a lesson to Nigerians. This is what you get when you demarket your own country.”
Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, had on Monday revealed that it had finally set up its first African office in Ghana.
“Twitter is now present on the continent,” Jack Dorsey tweeted.
“Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo.”
There have been reactions from many Nigerians who feel Twitter’s African headquarters should be located in Nigeria considering the millions of Nigerians who use the social media service.
Twitter said its decision to open an office in Ghana is based on the country’s AfCFTA negotiations, internet access, online and offline free speech policy.
“As a champion for democracy, Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate,” Twitter said in a statement.
“Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.”
Mohammed noted that Twitter’s decision might also be influenced by “exaggerated reports” by the media on the challenges the country is facing most especially during the #ENDSARS protest.
He said this a good example for Nigerians to learn better how to manage the image of the country.
“I think this will teach all of us a lesson that we have no other country but Nigeria. We are not saying you should not criticize this county but be fair, be patriotic,” Mohammed said.
“When you destroy your own house where will you live. You can imagine the job opportunities that siting the headquarters in Nigeria will bring.”
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