Nigeria’s top newspaper has opened its online edition, despite the government ban on social media and the internet, a newspaper owner said.
The Nigerian National newspaper, which has been in print since 2009, has been allowed to operate for more than two weeks after the country’s Information and Communication Technology Commission (ICTC) ordered the closure of social media, the Times of Nigeria daily said in a statement on Sunday.
The decision came after a week of protests in which people called for the government to allow online access to the newspaper, it said.
Nigeria’s Information Security and Co-operation Minister Nweli Mukasa said the government was taking the matter seriously.
He said the commission would issue a decision on the next step after examining all the information available on the internet.
“The government has given us the green light to allow the internet,” Mukasa told reporters.
“It is important to keep the public informed of our efforts.”
Nigos newspaper said its online newspaper, The Times of Africa, will continue to be accessible.
Nigerian Prime Minister David Buhari said the country is moving toward a digital economy.
“Our government is making sure that we are able to offer the people an information and entertainment environment that is more inclusive, more free and more sustainable,” he said.
“We are taking the decision to have a newspaper online.
We are trying to have the digital version of The Times Of Africa.
I am very happy with it.”
In April, Mukasa called for a ban on online and mobile communication in the country, saying the country needed to create a more open environment.
Naglfire News Agency via AP